Frederieke Sanders Taylor, a champion for architecture and artists and New York City cultural institutions, has passed away on Wednesday, February 7.
She was born on May 3, 1940, in Schiedam, the Netherlands. She received a BA from Leiden University in 1962, and an MA from Yale University in 1965, both of which centered on the study of Chinese literature and language.
She first made her mark in New York City for innovative development work as the first Administrative and Development Director for the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (1976–80), then as Executive Director of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (1980-86), building both institutions through her vision for public accessibility to the arts. At the Institute, for example, she secured the largest grant the National Endowment for the Humanities had ever bestowed on a project related to architecture; the grant funded a series, Open Plan, designed to appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike.
Later, she served as Director of the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire (1987–89) and as Director of The Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine (1989–91). She lent her organizational and fundraising expertise to promote the work of Meredith Monk, serving as a member of Monk’s House Foundation at its inception and also twice as Board President throughout the years. Throughout she has been a trusted advisor to other organizations as they sought to develop their structure and outreach, all with the goal of providing greater public access to the arts, while cultivating the work of younger artists.
And then, as she often observed, she made her hobby her profession and her profession her hobby: An avid art collector since her teenage years, she acquired a collection marked by conceptual, international and often deeply-ironic works, not confined to schools or specific artists. In the 1990s, however, she turned to professional curatorial work, organizing numerous exhibitions for institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (“Deconstructivist Architecture” with Philip Johnson), the Sculpture Center and private galleries, as well as the 55 Ferris Street exhibitions in Brooklyn. In 1993, she opened her gallery, then called the TZ’ART Gallery, in Soho, which became the Frederieke Taylor Gallery when she moved to Chelsea in 2000, at the outset of that migration.
As in her own collection, her exhibits were wide-ranging, covering not only conceptual contemporary art and design in the traditional media of painting and photography, but also design, architecture, and installation. Her roster of artists have included Monk, Breaded Escalope, Long-Bin Chen, Mel Chin, Antenna Design, Jackie Ferrara, and Marcel Wanders. She maintained her formal study of Chinese and explored contemporary Chinese art in her exhibitions and own collection.
She was the President of the Board of the House Foundation for the Arts, a past President of Art Table, member of the Architecture and Design Committee at MoMA, member of the boards of Art in General and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and served on the Advisory Committee of the Storefront for Art and Architecture and Franklin Furnace Archives.