PETRYN, ANDREW Andrew Petryn, 94, passed away on Oct. 11, 2013 at his home. He was born on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1918 in New Haven to the late Helen and Frederick Petryn. He went on to become a leading figure in the world of art and music. Andy was a life-long resident of New Haven. He graduated from Truman Street School and New Haven High School. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Yale University. He later trained at the New York Metropolitan Museum and Harvard's Fogg Museum. Andy was a childhood prodigy in the arts. He was recognized as an outstanding violinist in his youth and gained acclaim for his outstanding paintings, particularly of canines. Professionally, he devoted years to the Yale Art Gallery as director of art conservation. In the art world, Andy gained recognition and fame for his dedication and advocacy of conservation as opposed to restoration of works of art. His commitment to conservation derived from his belief that restoration was mistakenly undertaken with the illusory idea that a painting could be returned to its appearance on the day it was completed. Andy believed that conservation, on the other hand, attempts to demonstrate the unadulterated work of the artist and was most faithful to revealing and maintaining the artist's true intent. In order to attain that result, it was necessary to employ scientific techniques – physics, chemistry, even electron microscopy. Andy mastered all of them. He was not only proficient but world-renowned for his work in conversation. He devoted not just time and energy but his personal resources to the advancement of the techniques of conservation. Simply stated, conservation was his life. Andy spoke of his paintings as patients and lavished upon them the care of a doctor for the chronically ill. His home reflected his passion for conservation; it was, itself, a museum, manifesting his single-minded devotion to conservation, almost to an extreme. Andy had a second passion: a love of music. He was an exceptional prodigy who actually realized his youthful musical potential. He took great enjoyment in participating in chamber music throughout his life. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for Yale's extensive collection of historical musical instruments. His violins and bows were his children. A special thanks to the “Irish Ladies” who filled Andy's later life with care, compassion and companionship. His prize-winning Class Poem from New Haven High School was a window into his humanity. “In their eyes gleamed the blessings of True love and peace; and their hearts Blossoms an orchard of courage and the Love of the Great Master who gloried in your aria of peace – God – The leader of Dawning Youth!!!” Andy Petryn a unique, kind and loving soul whose dedication to the arts was as singular as it was impressive. “Till we meet again.” Friends are invited to attend funeral services in The Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St. (cor. Dwight) New Haven Saturday morning at 10:00. Visiting hour one hour prior to the service from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Interment in St. Lawrence Cemetery. www.celentanofuneralhome.com
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Published by The New Haven Register from Oct. 16 to Oct. 17, 2013.