January 26, 2022

Obituaries 1/26/2022

William Van Pelt

Mr. William Herrmann Van Pelt, 92 years young, entered the Kingdom of Heaven on January 19, 2022.

Born in New York City, he lived in Atlanta, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; Lawrenceville, NJ; and later moved to Aiken, SC. He spent 50 years in advertising and marketing, starting at Ketchum, McCloud & Grove, Westinghouse Electrical Corporation, and later retiring as the Senior Vice President of Gallop & Robinson in Princeton, NJ.

Son of William Herrmann Van Pelt and Helen “Billi” Clark. Proceeded in death by his parents and son William Clark. Lovingly remembered by his wife of 67 years Nancy Glace Van Pelt and daughters Lisa (Noble) Van Pelt-Diller and Meredith Van Pelt of Aiken, SC, and grandsons Max Diller of Phoenix, AZ, and Bennett Van Pelt of San Diego, CA.

He graduated from Emory University in 1950 and was a lifelong swimmer, swimming competitively with the Emory University Swim Team and the U.S. Masters Swimming Association until 2009. His other interests included art, classical music, and he was a member of the Guild for the Aiken Symphony Orchestra. He played classical guitar and was a passionate fan of UConn Womens’ Basketball. He filled his days studying the stock market and enjoying his loving family.

The Historic George Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 211 Park Avenue SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803-649-6234), has charge of arrangements.

Expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting georgefuneralhomes.com.


Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown was a pioneering art historian who brought the study of both Spanish and Viceregal Mexican art to wide public and academic attention with his teaching, voluminous writing, and exhibition curatingfrom the 1960s until the present decade. He died at home in Princeton, New Jersey on January 17, 2022. He was 82.

Jonathan Brown was the son of Jean (Levy) Brown and Leonard Brown, well known collectors of Dada, Surrealist, Fluxus, and especially Abstract Expressionist art. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on July 15, 1939. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College he became interested in Spanish language and literature. His love of Spanish art was fostered by classes at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, where he attended New York University’s junior year in Spain program in 1958-59. Brown received his PhD in art history in 1964 from Princeton where he taught in the Department of Art and Archaeology from 1965 to 1973. Jonathan Brown and Sandra Backer were married in 1966. Their house in Princeton, New Jersey, has been the family home for many years.

Jonathan was recruited by NYU to be Director (1973-78) of the Institute of Fine Arts, the university’s graduate center for the study of art history and fine arts conservation. He remained at the Institute until his retirement in 2017, serving as the Caroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts. Brown instructed several generations of advanced students in his field, many of whom went on to have prestigious careers as academics, museum curators, and directors. His fundamental books and exhibition catalogues on the greatest figures of Spain’s “Golden Age,” including El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jusepe de Ribera, and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, among others, earned him praise at home and abroad. Brown’s 1991 survey The Golden Age of Painting in Spain (expanded in 1998 and published as Painting in Spain 1500-1700) remains the standard volume on the subject.

Brown’s art historical methodology, with its emphasis on such contextual issues as patronage, the demands of the art market, changing currents of spiritual belief, along with intellectual, political, and social milieu in which artists lived and worked, offered new, often bold interpretations. His openness to both interdisciplinary approaches and scholarly collaboration is abundantly evident in the book A Palace for a King: The Buen Retiro and the Court of Philip IV, written with renown British historian John Elliott and published first in 1980 with an expanded version in 2003.

In Spain, Brown was both a revered and a sometimes-controversial figure. His analyses of art, highlighting socio-political, economic, and religious readings, were often at odds with the more traditional form of descriptive art history that was the rule in Spain until recent decades. Established Spanish scholars often questioned the value and importance of Brown’s ideas and expansive understanding of Spanish culture, but they held enormous appeal for a younger generation of scholars eager to turn their backs on the isolation imposed by the Franco regime. Many of them, including the current director of Prado Museum, Miguel Falomir, found their way to New York to attend Brown’s seminars at the IFA. Brown’s numerous collaborations with Spanish museums, joint projects with Spanish colleagues, and the prestige of his writings (many of his books quickly appeared in Spanish editions) made him into an “art historical legend” in the country he knew and loved so well.

Over the course of his career Brown received numerous honors including the Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes (1986); Comendador de la Orden de Isabel la Católica (1986); the Grand Cross of Alfonso X (1996); The Sorolla Medal from the Hispanic Society of America (2008); and recognition by the College Art Association of America in 2011 as Distinguished Scholar. Brown was elected a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid), a Member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos (Valencia) and, in 1988, membership in the American Philosophical Society. Between 1986 and 1996 he served on the Board of Directors of the Spanish Institute in New York City.

Among the themes closest to Brown was the phenomenon of collecting. His 1994 Andrew W. Mellon Lectures given at the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.) were published in 1995 as Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in Seventeenth Century Europe. This was also the subject of a 2002 exhibition at the Prado, organized in collaboration with Sir John Elliott. Brown’s passion for this subject led to the founding in 2007 (following Brown’s inspiration) of the Institute for the History of Collecting at The Frick Collection and the Frick Art Reference Library. Brown organized five exhibitions at the Frick, including the popular show “Goya’s Last Works” (with Susan Grace Galassi). His re-assessment of the final paintings and graphic work of this great eighteenth and nineteenth century artist mirrored the acuity that Brown had brought to his analysis of earlier Iberian master painters.

Beginning in 1994 Jonathan Brown’s attentions turned to the Spanish American world. An invitation to teach at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City provided the opportunity to examine first-hand masterpieces of what has been called “colonial art,” a mode of painting that Brown insisted on calling “Viceregal,” a term that has since gained considerable traction. His courses at the Institute of Fine Arts, his public lectures and his participation in a ground-breaking exhibition “Pintura de los reinos” (Painting in the Spanish Realms”), at the Prado and in Mexico City, attested to his new-found passion for Latin American art of the Early Modern era. In the spring of 2013 he curated the exhibition “Mexican Art at the Louvre: Masterpieces from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” 2015 saw the publication of Brown’s co-authored (with Luisa Elena Alcalá and other contributors) volume entitled Painting in Latin America, 1550-1829. His final publication attested to his wide-ranging interests within his first love, the art of Spain. No solo Velázquez (2020) was compiled by Estrella de Diego and Robert Lubar Messeri and contained an author’s prologue and nineteen Spanish language versions of Brown’s essays concerning painting, sculpture, and architecture from the late Middle Ages to Picasso. In his introduction Brown stated that “My principal stimulus was the desire to reintegrate Spanish art within its European context.”

Jonathan Brown is survived by his wife Sandra; his children Claire, Michael, and Daniel and their spouses David, Jamie, and Sarah; and his four grandchildren, Benjamin, Leo, Jake, and Max.

Memorial contributions, in his memory, to Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or Parkinson.org are appreciated.

By Richard Kagan, Robert Lubar, and Edward J. Sullivan.


Isaac Halperin Cutler-Kreutz

Isaac Halperin Cutler-Kreutz, from Princeton, NJ, died peacefully on January 18 of pneumonia, a complication of long-term brain disease. He was 26 years old.

Isaac was an extremely bright child, teaching himself to read before age 2½, when he suffered a massive stroke caused by an undiagnosed brain tumor. After surgery, he was comatose for months and given only nine months to live. Nevertheless, against all odds and in the face of daunting physical and mental handicaps caused by the stroke and surgery, Isaac persevered. With the aid of extraordinary, dedicated, and compassionate therapists (physical, occupational, and speech) and special education teachers, Isaac ultimately relearned to talk, walk, and read. After untold hours of therapy and hard work, Isaac ultimately achieved an astonishing degree of competence and independence. He was a blithe spirit with an open, engaging personality; a huge smile and a funny joke were ever at the ready. He lived a very rich, happy life, and was both ever-loving and deeply loved by all who knew him.   

Isaac traversed the entire Princeton Regional School system, graduating PHS with a Gold Key Award in 2016; he counted every student as a particular friend. Afterward, he worked at the Whole Earth Center, Princeton University Store, and Cherry Grove Farm, and loved all three jobs. He joyfully participated in Princeton Special Sports soccer and basketball, as well as Special Olympics New Jersey cycling, bocce, track and field, and swimming. He adored sleep-away summer camp, travel, reading, cycling, dancing, and adventure. Most of all, he loved people, and loved to help, however he could. He was well known throughout town for his big smile, openness, cheerfulness, kindness, endless positivity, and terrific sense of humor.

His family is forever grateful for the support and kindness of everyone involved in Isaac’s journey. It has indeed taken a village. He is survived by his brothers Sam and David, and by his parents, Liz Cutler and Tom Kreutz, who view Isaac’s life as an unbelievable miracle and blessing.

Funeral services were held on January 20 at Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Isaac’s memory may be made to: One Step At A Time, a summer camp for children with cancer and long-term survivors of pediatric cancers (camponestep.org); Special Olympics New Jersey (sonj.org); or Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Neuro-Oncology research (chop.edu).

Funeral arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel. To send condolences to the family please visit Isaac’s obituary page at orlandsmemorialchapel.com/isaac-cutler-kreutz.


Joseph Michael Walker

Joseph Michael Walker, 68, of Princeton, New Jersey died unexpectedly of a heart attack at home on January 22, 2022. Born in Sterling, Colo., he graduated from Hastings College in Nebraska with a Bachelor of Arts, then earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond, Va., in 1979.

He served as the pastor of Village Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Va., for three years, and then the Tarkio Presbyterian Church in Tarkio, Mo., for seven years before joining the Church Financial Campaign Service of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a Campaign Consultant for eight years. Subsequently he worked within the Department of Consumer Affairs of the State of New Jersey for 21 years, where he retired in 2018 as the Executive Director of the Boards of Psychological Examiners and Social Workers. Nassau Church was his home for 33 years and he enjoyed preaching for other congregations in the presbytery.

Over the years he served on innumerable committees and boards, among them Arm in Arm (then the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton). His lifelong pursuit of musical interests included singing in choral groups, teaching classes on opera, and knowing all the answers to all the music questions on Jeopardy.

In retirement with his wife Joyce, he enjoyed life to the fullest as a very fine amateur photographer of birds and nature — seeking out bird sanctuaries, nature hikes, and beautiful places from Nova Scotia to Belize, Florida to British Columbia, and everywhere in between. He was an amazing family chef, entertaining guests with gourmet meals, never exactly following a recipe, and sharing his love of cooking and welcoming with his children.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Joyce MacKichan Walker; his children Rebekah and Andrew; one nephew, Blair Walker of Jacksonville, Fla.; one aunt; and numerous cousins.

A private memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 30 at 1 p.m. EST at Nassau Presbyterian Church. The service will be live streamed at nassauchurch.org.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Centurion Ministries (centurion.org) or Arm In Arm (arminarm.org).

Arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.


Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz of Geneva, IL, passed away at home on January 19, 2022, surrounded by loved ones after a brave fight against cancer. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and son, Peter is survived by his wife, Jill, of 28 years; his children, Evan (Rebekah) Schwartz, Stamford, CT; Sonia (Aaron) Rubens, Chicago, IL; Jaclyn Schwartz, Park City, UT; and Adam Schwartz, Geneva, IL; his grandchildren, Maya and Luca Rubens, Chicago, IL; and his sister, Eileen (Brian) Cohen, Los Angeles, CA.

Peter was born in Indio, CA, to Nicholas and Erika Schwartz on October 23, 1949. He grew up in Corona, CA, where he enjoyed playing tennis, riding horses, hiking through orange groves, playing music in an award-winning jazz band, serving on student council, and spending time with family and friends. He received his B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton, and then began a long career in association management at NHFA, ASA, NAA, and the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago before purchasing Streng Agency in St. Charles, IL.

Peter moved to Chicago in 1979 and also spent time living in Alexandria, VA, and Princeton, NJ, before settling in Geneva, IL. Peter had an infectious laugh and wonderful sense of humor. He had an affinity for history and a love of sailing, fishing, listening to music, travel, and golf. He was a brilliant writer and speaker. Peter had a penchant for style and delighted in the details. Most of all, he adored his family. He was the patriarch of our family and will be missed dearly by family and friends.

Services were held at Congregation Beth Shalom in Naperville, IL, on Sunday, January 23, with interment at Naperville Cemetery.

Arrangements by Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Homes & Crematory, (630) 355-0624; beidelmankunschfh.com.


Carol Robb Blount

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, a nurse, mother, and our hero passed from this world. She died in her home in Lawrenceville, NJ, in a warm bed, surrounded by a family that deeply loved her. She had been battling non-motor Parkinson’s for the past eight years.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Walter E. Robb of West Orange, NJ, she and her brother Walter grew up in Weston, Massachusetts. She accompanied her mother to California where she attended Bishop School in San Diego. It was here as a young teenager that she joined in the war effort, attending dances and social occasions to entertain the troops prior to their deployment in WW II. After she received several marriage proposals, her father insisted she move back East.

She graduated from boarding school at Ethel Walker School in CT and went on to Briarcliff College. On the day she graduated from Briarcliff she heard the devastating news that her sweetheart, 2nd Lt. Marine Colonel Douglas Bradlee, had been killed in action fighting in the Korean War. This tragic event changed the course of her life. With her father’s strong encouragement to follow in her aunt’s famous footsteps (Nurse Isabell Hampton Robb) and determined to make a difference like the boys who lost their lives in the war, she turned her back on the debutante life and poured herself into a nursing career.

She enrolled in Boston Children’s Hospital Diploma program. These were the days when nursing students were housed in dormitory-like conditions and chaperoned closely. She was the first student allowed to be married before graduation. She and her new husband, Ridgely W Cook Sr., eventually settled in Princeton, NJ. Putting nursing aside for a time, Carol raised three children — Sandy, Ridgely, and Buzby. She was a member of Trinity Church, the Women’s Investment Group (WIG), and started a small business called Rollingmead Rumble Bread.

Eventually divorce forced her to return to work full time. She became a private duty nurse at Princeton Medical Center, and later a corporate nurse for Birch Tree Group also in Princeton. She married I. Tipler Blount and became stepmother to four more children — Cathy, Barry, Patty, and Tina. While working, she returned to get her B.S. in Nursing from Trenton State College graduating at the age of 50. She eventually left corporate nursing and went to Trenton to work for Mercer Street Friends. This afforded her the opportunity to work with those most in need. Many a holiday would find her out in patients’ homes attending to the sick. In 1987 she was nominated by her peers as “Nurse of The Year” for the state of New Jersey after forming a nurse’s union to make sure her fellow nurses were being treated fairly.

Carol eventually returned to Princeton Medical Center where she joined the Home Care Department. She continued to forge close bonds with her nursing colleagues. After her second husband died, she married Dr. Monsour Miky. She had seven retirements, eventually leaving the profession in her 80s and retiring to Lawrenceville, NJ. Her family and friends loved her so much for her positive attitude, playful spirit, and kind heart. She fought the good fight.

Predeceased by her parents Walter Robb and Rachel MacInnis; brother Walter Robb Jr.; stepbrothers Samuel Adams (Nina) and John Adams; former husband Irving Tipler Blount; and stepchildren Tina Kline (Greg) and Patti Blount. She is survived by her children Sandra Cook-Anderson (Stuart), Ridgely W. Cook (Julie), and Buzby R. Cook (Mary); sister-in-law Anne Robb and Carol Hathaway; stepsister Judy Bartholomew; grandchildren Sarah (Nathan), Anna, Andrew, Hastings, Hyatt, and Chante; stepchildren Cathy Blount and Barry Blount (Melanie Perone); and former husbands Ridgely W. Cook Sr. and Dr. Mikey Mansour.

A Memorial Service will be held at Trinity Church on May 7, 2022, at 11:30 a.m.  Donations can be given to Trinity Church, Michael J. Fox Foundation, or a veterans’ organization.

Arrangements are under the direction of Mather Hodge Funeral Home.