ANNA-MARIA KELLEN

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KELLEN--Anna-Maria,

(nee Arnhold) died peacefully in New York City on April 9th at age 98 after a long and astonishingly productive life devoted both to her family and to her decades-long leadership, philanthropy, and voluntary commitments at non- profit cultural institutions, educational centers, and health-related charities. Born in 1918 in Berlin, she attended the Mommsen Lycee, the University of Lausanne, and the Sorbonne in Paris--but her studies were interrupted by the onset of World War II and she immigrated to America. Reaching New York in 1940, she married Stephen M. Kellen (1914-2004), with whom she shared her life for 64 joyous years. Here Mrs. Kellen volunteered for service as a Red Cross nurse's aid at Memorial Hospital, receiving a special citation for her work in 1945. In the decades to come, she raised a son and daughter and worked side- by-side with her husband, the distinguished President, CEO and Co-Chairman of Arnhold and S, Bleichroeder and co-founder with his wife of the American Academy in Berlin (Mrs. Kellen's ancestral home). Beginning in the 1960s, Mrs. Kellen greatly expanded her own role in culture and philanthropy, which led eventually to the creation of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation. During the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch, Mrs. Kellen served for ten years (1978-1988) as a member of the New York City Commission for Cultural Affairs, and five years (1983-1988) as co-chair of the Mayor's Award of Honor for Arts and Culture. A member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for 66 years, she and her husband made many gifts to the Met, among them works of art and funding that have greatly enriched the collection--most notably a major gift in 1999 to create a special exhibition endowment fund for German art. Elected a Fellow for Life in 1971 and a Museum Benefactor in 2004, Mrs. Kellen served also over the years as a member of the Met's Chairman's Council and on the visiting committees of both European Sculpture and Decorative Arts and Contemporary Art. Since 2004 she has served as an Honorary Trustee of the Museum. Mrs. Kellen served with distinction as well as a Trustee of the Cancer Research Institute; a member of the advisory boards of Civitas and Lenox Hill Hospital; an honorary trustee of the Parsons School of Design; a member of the Director's Roundtable of the Morgan Library; and a member of "The Circle" at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. She received many awards and honors for her generosity and tireless work, including the 2003 Oliver R. Grace Award from the Cancer Research Institute; a chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres from the Republic of France in 1997; a 1994 award for distinguished service to the arts from the Third Street Music School; and a 1989 distinguished service medal from the New School for Social Research (where she and her husband endowed the Anna- Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery at the school's Sheila C. Johnson Design Center). In 1997, Mayor Koch awarded Mr. and Mrs. Kellen the "Spirit of the City" Award in recognition of their enormous commitment to cultural enlightenment in New York. Mrs. Kellen's legacy of public service continues among her family. She is survived by her daughter, Marina Kellen French, and her son, Michael M., Kellen, as well as her grandchildren: Andrew Gundlach, Annabelle Garrett, Caroline Kellen, and Christopher Kellen, along with eight great-grandchildren. Funeral services are private. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Cancer Research Institute, 55 Broadway, Suite 1802, New York, NY 10006, or to the Third St. Music School Settlement, 235 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003.


Published in The New York Times on Apr. 11, 2017