Yesterday, the world lost a great woman, and I lost a good friend. Bea Kreloff died at 91. She was an artist, a teacher, a radical feminist, a very secular Jew, and a grand dame, one of the best storytellers I ever met. Even if she did tell you the same story a million times. She and her partner, Edith Isaac-Rose, co-founded Art Workshop International, where I teach in Assisi in the summer. She lived around the corner from me and I went over often for coffee (me) or martinis (Bea). One of her few regrets, she told me toward the end, was that she wouldn’t live to vote for a woman for President. There are better pictures of her — and certainly, ones she’d like better, with fewer wrinkles — but this is as I remember her best: on the terrace at the Hotel Giotto at cocktail time, looking splendid, laughing, and holding court. Bea, I will miss you.
SJ, thank you! Bea had a way of connecting on a deeper level. Although I only made it to Assisi three times, I have always felt the connection and friendship with not only Bea, but also Edith, and the people she chose as teachers. She will be missed, for I am sure that infectious personality touched many lives. A truly real person!
A rara avis, that Bea. I love people who are such clear characters, easy in their own skin, joyful, unabashed, and unapologetic about love and martinis. Truly, S.J., I wish I had known her. Next time you and I see each other, let’s raise a glass to Bea.