Internationaler Kunstkritikerverband, Sektion der BRD

Evelyn Laid to Rest

We buried Evelyn Weiss. It was on the cold and damp 19th of November, a Monday, the thermometer read 2 to 3 degrees. It rained before the funeral service and after the burial, but to and from the grave we managed without umbrellas.

Evelyn rests at the beautiful wooded Heiderhof cemetery in the Bad Godesberg section of Bonn, high above the Rhine, very near to her last home. The funeral hall couldn't hold all of the guests, many stood outside the door. Of the local artists, I saw Gina Lee Felber and Renate Goebel, Jürgen Klauke and Ansgar Nierhoff, Martin Noel, Igor Sacharow-Ross, HA Schult, the young Cornel Wachter. At the funeral banquet I sat next to the painter Rissa, who had come from Niederbreitbach with her husband, the 93-year-old K.O. Götz. Rissa told me that Evelyn had, in the end, planned an exhibition with female artists, a project which will now no longer take place.

Some of the museum people (and former museum people) who paid her the last honors were Kasper König (Museum Ludwig), Wolfgang Becker (Aachen), Evelyn's first husband, Rolf Wedewer (Leverku-sen), Wenzel Jacob (Bonn) and Dieter Ronte (Bonn). Ronte, who spoke after the Protestant minister, was very reticent and quoted passages from a few of Evelyn's most important articles, occasionally commenting on them. No further speeches were held at the graveside.

Never before has the German AICA received as many words of condolence from representatives of AICA sections around the world as now, after Evelyn's death. They illustrate how she made friends all over the world with her competence, her character, her winning nature - for herself, but also for the German AICA. Representing all of the colleagues who expressed their grief to the German steering committee, the international AICA and Evelyn's family, I would like to quote Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves from Brazil: "I am really very sorry with this sad message. Evelyn Weiss was a wonderful person and extraordinary colleague. We will miss her very much."

Above all, she will be dearly missed by the AICA steering committee. She superbly complemented the four-person panel, particularly with her internationally effective actions over the years, without ever having been a member of the German steering committee. In the end, she considered campaigning to become the first female president of the German AICA, but her difficult illness ultimately made this impossible. Marie Luise Syring, general secretary of the German AICA, writes in her letter of sympathy to me: "No one could take minutes as brilliantly as she did, and no one was able to summarize the substance of a meeting as conclusively as her." I received a letter of condolence from AICA vice president Peter Herbstreuth, as well. In it he recalls Evelyn's international influence, which he most notably experienced at the congress in Ljubliana, and adds: "I therefore had no difficulty in imagining her as your successor [as AICA president] ."

Mournful, bitterly mournful feelings - throughout the entire year 2007. The German AICA lost many distinguished members in 2007: first the likewise internationally accomplished Georg Jappe, then the still youthful Harald Fricke from Berlin and Klaus Flemming from Mönchengladbach, whom we had just admitted a few months earlier. They were followed by Erhard Frommhold from Leipzig and Helmut R. Leppien from Hamburg (a nephew of the German-French painter Jean Leppien), and now Evelyn Weiss-Ott. We will continue to honor all of them in our memory.

Cologne, November 2007
Walter Vitt

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