JANE CHERMAYEFF
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CHERMAYEFF--Jane Clark, 64, died peacefully at home of brain cancer. Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, she was a long time resident of New York City. As a curator and planner Jane dedicated her professional career to the arts, museums and children, cherishing the quote "life without a swing is a misunderstanding." Her work and life took her to diverse places; Cambodia, Germany, Puerto Rico, and most recently, Val-Kill, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and Chicago's Millennium Park. In all of these places Jane brought to bare her expertise on learning. She founded the Architectural Playground Equipment Inc. and was a member of numerous professional associations; the New York Studio School, the Museum Group, The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico and the Century Association among others. Jane will be remembered for her boundless love and intense generosity of spirit. Jane is survived by her husband Ivan, son Sam, brother Tom, sister Ann, stepchildren Catherine, Maro and Sasha, as well as five grandchildren. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Jane's memory may be directed to the charity of one's choice. She herself loved a great many things, people and places.


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Published in New York Times on Jul. 11, 2014.
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31 entries
July 6, 2020
The School Art League remembers Jane with love and honor. At our 2020 (Virtual) Awards Ceremony The Jane Clark Chermayeff Design Award was presented to Neofitis Haralambou, a young artist from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, who will be continuing his study of art and design in college. Jane's commitment to the value of art education continues and her legacy will alway live on. She was my mentor and friend for many years and I miss her very much.
Naomi Lonergan
Friend
July 8, 2019
Jane is in my thoughts as The School Art League celebrated its 110th Anniversary. I fondly remember her dedication to the arts and art education. She inspired students to value creativity, believe in themselves and live life to the fullest. Jane's infectious spirit, smile and wry wit will always be with me.

Naomi Lonergan
Friend
July 22, 2014
Dear Ivan and Sam,
Words cannot express how deeply I feel your loss. Coming to your marvelous East Side apartment early on Wednesday mornings to tutor her in Spanish ("Oh-ho-ho Dorothy! You're going to torture me in the preterit today aren't you!"), she would always have a pot of strong coffee ready, and a little copper pan of scalded milk and we would converse about grammar, about Neruda, about idioms. I always called her "la yegua" (the mare) because of her marvelous mane of hair, yes, but mostly because of her energy, which reminded me of a prancing horse. Her talents at language, at learning, at laughter and at loving were exceptional and joyful. She was a joy to have as a student and a friend. I send my love to all of you. Prance on, beautiful yegua.
Dorothy Potter Snyder
July 17, 2014
I hope they're ready, wherever Jane is headed next, to think and work really hard and play even harder. I can't think of anyone I've worked with who believed more powerfully and passionately in the fundamental importance of play. Jane understood at the deepest level that play – exploration, discovery, risk, reward, challenge, mastery – is how everyone learns. Not just children, but children especially. And she never missed an opportunity to preach that gospel. Such a huge, huge loss for our profession. We are challenged, all of us, to carry her light forward. She'll be watching, and taking notes… Good luck Jane. Have fun. Let us know what you learn…
Tevere MacFadyen
July 17, 2014
Dear ivan,
I am so saddened to learn of Jane's death. It is very hard to believe that someone so vibrant and full of life is no longer with us. Jane was an incredible woman, someone I always admired and respected. A more gracious strong woman would be hard to find. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Jane will be greatly missed.
Nora Preusser
July 16, 2014
So sorry to hear such awful news. I have such fond memories of working for Jane some 30 years ago.
David Fishman
July 16, 2014
I met Jane so long ago I can't remember the dates. We were both students in a program offered by the New York Museums Collaborative and Columbia University. Classes were held at CU's Upstate Retreat Cntr., Hillhouse on the Hudson. The two of us were troublesome students who felt the program needed a bit of levity. The Museum group was made up mostly of women. Another group of business executives in a different program were mostly young men. Jane and I convinced them that they could meet attractive women if they would underwrite a party. They gave us money and Jane and I went to town and bought liquor and refreshments. This broke all the rules, made the Hillhouse managers irritated, and our instructors unhappy. At the party the women totally ignored the men. It was a great party! The next day there were a few hangovers and unruly students. Jane and I remained friends ever since. She was one of the great spirits I have met in my lifetime and she will be very much missed.
Howard Taylor -Director , San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts ,Texas.
Howard Taylor
July 16, 2014
Jane was a terrific colleague, for work on the Hudson River valley, in New York City of course and for providing cogent advice to support the African Burial Ground. When she entered the meeting, humanity and empathy entered and often awakened all to a better way forward. - Jim Pepper
Jim Pepper
July 16, 2014
Thank you for all you did to make the world a better place. Your energy and smile will be missed.
Howard Weatherbee
July 15, 2014
Dearest Ivan and Sam,
I met Jane when we attended The American University in D.C. What a time we had and Jane, always the light of any party, brought panache and passion to every single thing she touched. Her beautiful auburn tresses tied back in a silk scarf, making filtered French Coffee decades before it became fashionable, finding humour in the most curious of places- she was a wonder. Her love for you two had no bounds and it was a gift to reconnect with her after so many decades at our Connecticut home and your latest abode in Westchester county. Anyone who cared for an aged cat like Jane did, bringing her along to dinner parties to ensure costant care and attention, is someone after my heart of hearts. I loved her as only a young person starting out on life's road can. She made an indelable mark on my most impressionable heart.
Much love to all the family
Terri and Peter Clark
Vancouver, Canada
July 15, 2014
I treasure the memory of all the Sundays we spent together doing yoga and then eating pancakes. Namaste bright star.
Charmaine Lord
July 15, 2014
Dear sweet lovely Jane, you have touched so many with your laughter and soulful eyes. I will miss our morning hugs and
talks. Deepest Sympathy to Ivan and your family.
Julie Ming Walsh
July 15, 2014
TO IVan and SAM - Didn't we have a great time of life in our explorations of design and children at IDCA,the
Aspen Conference.? One highlight was GROWING BY DESIGN , the conference inspiration of Jane/Ivan and dont forget Sam's role. Hundred of kids and parents
discovered how to learn and relate to each other and to the physical environment. Jane had no equal in dedication to and insight into the unique creativity of
children, especially if given loving attention, as she gave it. She is already greatly missed. Jane Thompson
Jane Thompson
July 15, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Jane's passing she was a pillar of the museum community.

- Mark Walhimer
July 15, 2014
Jane's ease at lighting up a roomful, or equally just one on one, with her radiant smile and life-loving self will be sadly missed. I wish our pathways had intersected much more often than they could do so.
Emlyn Koster
July 14, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Jane's passing. In the short time that I was fortunate to know her, It didn't take long to experience and be drawn in by her zest for life. My sincerest condolences to Ivan and her family. Elaine
Elaine Gangel
July 13, 2014
Ivan and Sam, I am so sorry to hear of Jane's death. Jane was such an inspiration to so many. Her lively spirit, easy laughter and friendship will be missed my many. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
With deepest sympathy,
Teri Hendy
July 13, 2014
I am so saddened to hear of Jane's untimely passing. She was a bright, creative, generous and hugely intelligent contributor to the arts and cultural community. My sincere condolences to her family.
Ruth Davis
July 13, 2014
Jane was a fantastic loyal friend and wonderful thinker. I cherish the joy she shared.
John Fraser
July 12, 2014
With deepest sympathy. I will remember Jane for her accomplishments, her intelligence and her warm nature.
Elisa Halperin-Benguiat
July 12, 2014
She certainly left her mark,...and will be remembered fondly by many.....
Donna Arrigale
July 12, 2014
Oh Jane! I am so sorry to hear this news.. What a wonderful giving person she was. I loved her so when we were growing up in Poughkeepsie NY. I was her campaign manager when she ran I believe for President of her class or the student government. She always had a beautiful spirit and smile. I will send healing light to her son and husband along with all of her family. Our families loved each other. With much love, Kathleen Hunter
July 12, 2014
The Board of Trustees of The School Art League send our deepest condolences to Ivan, Sam and their family. Jane was our treasurer and an intrepid member of our board for over 27 years. She was instrumental in bringing The School Art League back to life in the early '90s, and and worked tirelessly towards fulfilling its mission. Jane was our rock and "go-to" person, full of wonderful spirit and creativity. She inspired us all and we will miss her very much.
Naomi Lonergan, President
July 12, 2014
Jane was a bright light. I was honored to be her trainer for years. She was full of joy, silliness, mischief, love and all things good. Love to you across the rainbow bridge, Jane! XOXO
Geralyn Coopersmith
July 11, 2014
Heartfelt sympathies to Ivan, Sam and their entire family. Jane was an extraordinary person who will be missed by so many.
Constance Evans
July 11, 2014
I worked with Jane at the NY Hall of Science. She was one of the most alive and engaged people I ever knew, and also a great hugger. We at NYSCI will miss her.
July 11, 2014
A beautiful person and a woman to emulate - her passion, vivacity, talent, and love for the arts were only some of her very special qualities. It was an honor to be a fellow trustee of the School Art League. Her commitment to this organization and to the students of New York City's public schools helped make the School Art League the vital organization it is today. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Laurel Danowitz Gerges
July 11, 2014
Jane will always be remembered as a enthusiastic, caring, beautiful person. She thought first of young people and her tireless work with The School Art League will be one of her many legacies.
Diana Cagle
July 11, 2014
Michelle Bonime
July 11, 2014
Dear Ivan:
My deepest sympathies to you, Sam and your family. I greatly admired Jane for her intelligence, energy, beauty, and many accomplishments. She revived the School Art League when it was at its lowest time and for 25 years built it to what it is now. I will aways miss her as a colleague, mentor and friend.
With great sadness,
Naomi
Naomi Lonergan
July 11, 2014
Jane Clark Chermayeff had a joyful spirit, loved to travel & explore and her family. Until the very end she was able to stay with the things, view and people that meant the most to her.
Her neighbor, S. A. Sedlis
S.A. Sedlis
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