1927 - 2020
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Carolyn Small Alper  
Passed away on April 25, 2020 at the age of 92. Artist, Decorator, and Philanthropist, Alper will be remembered as a pillar of the D.C. art scene and local Jewish community, who could be spotted darting between art openings and craft shows in a Smart Car into her nineties.A third generation Washingtonian, Alper was born to Lillian and Albert Small on October 1, 1927. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School, she studied pre-med at Syracuse University. In 1972, she received her degree in art history at American University. She married Morton Alper DDS in 1947 and the couple divorced in the mid-70's. She later travelled extensively with longtime companion Milton Mulitz.In the 1950's and 1960's, she studied painting under Morris Louis and Gene Davis, who were part of a group of abstract expressionists known as the Washington Color School. In the 1970's, she co-founded the Foundry Studio and Gallery, a cooperative women's art group, which showcased her paintings in exhibits. Alper later became a certified interior designer, helping young couples design contemporary residences for 25 years.She became an avid collector of contemporary art and later served as a trustee of the Phillips Collection, The Renwick Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Federal Reserve Art Collection and the Washington Project for the Arts. She supported and frequented the National Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery. She was particularly proud of creating and underwriting the Alper Initiative for Washington Art, which sponsors gallery shows that highlight local artists and arts programming at American University. Alper also contributed to and served on the board of the Lillian & Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum. As a dedicated member of The Washington Hebrew Congregation, she traveled to Germany last year to oversee the completion of a mosaic she commissioned and helped design that is now featured in the main sanctuary.Carolyn Alper was loved and adored for her wit, kindness, lack of pretension, great taste, and devotion to family and friends. She is survived by her brother Albert Small (Shirley), children Richard (Kate Herrod) and Patty (David Cohn), as well as granddaughter Alexandra.Services private.Contributions can be made in Carolyn Alper's memory to the American University: Alper Initiative for Washington Art or the Capital Jewish Museum. For Zoom Shiva arrangements, contact WHC. Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.  

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Published in The Washington Post from Apr. 27 to Apr. 28, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
May 4, 2020
May God's promise found in John 6:40, of the hope to see our loved ones again, comfort your heart and give you peace, strength, and hope in the days ahead.
April 30, 2020
Deepest condolences to the family for our Watergate West neighbor and friend.
Ammar Bafi
April 30, 2020
We had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn Alper for the first time this year. What an inspiring and vibrant person, whose indelible mark on DC's arts community will be appreciated in perpetuity.
Maureen & Geoffrey Diner
April 30, 2020
Dear Carolyn, it has been an honor to know you over these past years with your work on the Foggy Bottom Sculpture Committee. It feels like I just saw you and we sat together at our last gathering. We will miss you greatly. Sending you much love always, Helen
Helen Zughaib
April 30, 2020
What a force for the arts. Washington is, indeed,poorer without her.
Barbara Liotta
April 30, 2020
We have had the pleasure of knowing Carolyn for many years. She was a fun and kind person and will miss her.
April 29, 2020
I am grateful for the years we shared during the '70s as I was a member of the Foundry Gallery from 1975-1984. Thank you, Carolyn, for everything you did for us, and for everything we did together!
Dr. Rosemary Wright, Ph.D.
April 29, 2020
Carolyn was of course a very interesting person, but what I always thought was so great about her was that she was so INTERESTED. She had so much curiosity and took such an interest in other people, what they were doing, reading, thinking about. She was and will remain a real inspiration to me.
Lynn Rozental
April 28, 2020
Carolyn spent her life devoted to art and artists and her presence will be very missed here in Washington DC, the city she loved. Nan Montgomery
April 28, 2020
I will cherish the many good times we shared through the Cosmos Club and the many art venues we enjoyed. I always admired Carolyn's creative style and elegance.
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Lenore Miller
April 28, 2020
With our deepest sympathy
Jayne & Alan
April 27, 2020
Caroline, when Alexandra and Sydney were young BFFs you were the super cool grandma! Beautiful, talented, well traveled and lots of fun! you were a great role model to these two beautiful women!
Your memory will be a blessing for your family and all of us!
Evelyn Fine
April 27, 2020
We have had the pleasure of knowing Carolyn for many years. She was a fun and kind person we will miss her.
April 27, 2020
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Yuriko Yamaguchi
April 27, 2020
It was always a joy to be in Carolyn's presence. Her kind, gentle, inclusive soul always made me feel like a valued friend. I will miss her smile as well as her sharp wit.
Angela LoRe
April 27, 2020
Carolyn was so alive I never would have guessed her age. I was therefore so surprised and sad to hear she recently died. I will miss seeing her and getting a friendly hello at many arts events, including au openings and Renwick events. Truly special. My thoughts are with carolyns family and large circle of friends. She truly made a difference with her life
Marsha Gold
April 27, 2020
Carolyn was lovely women. It was always a pleasure to greet her and to ask about her kids who used to frequent my house on Linnean. I will miss her.
Sandy Weiswasser
April 27, 2020
So sorry to hear of Carolyn Alper's passing. Her son Richard is a friend of mine and I feel as if I knew Carolyn from hearing so much about her from Richard. I am holding the family in the Light.
Dan Dozierq
April 27, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the family of Carolyn Alper. May you be comforted in knowing that our Heavenly Father cares for you. He will give you strength and courage to cope with your grief.
Psalm 94:17-19
N. S.
April 27, 2020
Getting to know Carolyn Alper was one of the highlights of my years at the Corcoran. She will always have a special place in my heart.
Brigitte Savage
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