a billion years ago, when i was a grant writer at the philadelphia museum of art, one of my regular tasks was to write letters. i wrote cover letters for grant requests, thank you letters for grant awards, and cover letters for grant reports. and since nobody knew who the hell i, a lowly grants associate, was, and since the whole fundraising/development/arts&culture world is all about name/brand recognition, i wrote these letters under someone else's name, someone whose name got recognized.
one of those well-recognized people was anne d'harnoncourt, the museum's director. anne d'harnoncourt died over the weekend.
now, it's not like ADH and i were pals; it's not as if we'd trade quips about marcel duchamp when we'd pass each other in the halls. truthfully, i had very little direct interaction with her, and i was a little terrified of her because she was the big boss and she was six feet tall. but i liked her -- she was always kind and professional, she was a perfectionist even with my submitted drafts of two-paragraph thank you notes (very rarely did i get a draft returned to me without some minor change on it), she was completely devoted to her work, she was gracious and genuine with those who supported the museum and its programming, and she had truly fantastic handwriting. she did wonderful things with and for the philadelphia museum of art, and by extension for the city of philadelphia. she was very well liked and respected and she will definitely be missed.
(by the way, as an example of an editorial change that ADH would have made to one of my drafts, in the previous paragraph's second-to-last sentence, she likely would have marked through the word "wonderful" and replaced it with "marvelous." she actually talked like that, too.)
there are a few articles in the NYT about her. here's one of them.