Gabrielle Hagert Feldman
Gabrielle Hagert Feldman passed away peacefully in Bridgman, Michigan on March 4, 2017, surrounded by family members and wonderful staff. Gabrielle was born in Philadelphia on May 25, 1925, and was raised in downtown Philadelphia and Jenkintown.
A fine artist, she attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now University of the Arts), leaving early to work as a fashion illustrator for news print. In 1949 she married Milton Feldman with whom she raised five children.
In the 1960s-1970s Gabrielle worked as a photographer, exhibiting in solo and group shows in the Philadelphia area. She co-founded Gertrude et Gabrielle, producing hand-painted clothing and selling in stores in Philadelphia, Manhattan, Paris, and Beverly Hills. In the 1980s, after raising her children, she and Milton moved to a 200-acre tree farm in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where she returned to painting and drawing. She was invited to join the new MFA program at Marywood College, from which she graduated with a master’s diploma.
Gabrielle was widely celebrated as a draftswoman, and applied the skill to drawing, landscape, still life, portraiture, and narrative painting. From the 1980s she exhibited widely at galleries and museums throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and New York State, and later in Michigan and Illinois. She was captivated by art, opera, nature, and spectacle. As a Wayne County tree farmer she partnered with local professionals, putting four decades into timber-stand improvement, restoring the forest, and protecting the water and adjacent wetland. Her passion for nature was of a piece with her passion for art and performance.
In the 1980s and 1990s Gabrielle made a series of self-portraits and an evocative water rescue series. She continued exploring large narrative themes in subsequent works, including a landscape series of the four seasons, a Biblical story series, and a still life series including references to humorous faces and aerialists. Her interests culminated in the Circus Series, created in her seventies and early eighties. Drawing on her lifelong devotion to the many small circuses that traveled through Pennsylvania, the work made reference to her collections of books, postcards, dolls, puppets,and wind-up toys, all of which informed her explorations in visual and thematic vocabularies.
Gabrielle is survived by her brother Thornton (Tony) Hagert and sister Sidney (Cindy) Gommel, her children Rebekah Boyer, Martha Feldman, Fred Feldman, Amy Tecosky-Feldman, and Rachel Nazareth, her daughter-in-law Patricia Barber, her son-in-law Jeff Tecosky-Feldman, her grandchildren Emily Bauman, Rebecca Bauman, Eleanor Tecosky-Feldman, Samuel Boyer, Jacob Tecosky-Feldman, Valor Boyer, and Giovanni Feldman, her great grandchildren Angus Hammer and Geronimo Hammer, and her loving caregiver and friend Shaya Jackson.
In Gabrielle’s honor, family will gather at her beloved Adams Brook in Dingman’s Ferry, Pennsylvania, a childhood home now protected as part of the Pennsylvania state park system, and a stone will be placed at her Hagert family plot at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers the family would like loving homes for Gabrielle’s work. Inquiries about adopting paintings and drawings should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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