Edward R. Brohel
January 14, 1932 – October 6, 2014
Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014 3:16 pm
PLATTSBURGH – Edward R. Brohel, 82, of Plattsburgh, died peacefully at home on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. Born Jan. 14, 1932, in Brooklyn, he was the son of the late Margaret McGee and the late Edward Brohel.
Edward started grade school in Woodhaven and continued his secondary education at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn in 1946, where he met his lifelong friend Edmund Egan on day one. Edward went on to pursue history and art history, graduating from Manhattan College, and furthering his studies at Brooklyn College and NYU Graduate School.
From a tender age, Ed lived a life filled with art and music. He first taught art, at the age of 14, to a group of public school students gathered around his family’s dining room table, and to his mother’s chagrin, used the living room as the venue for his first ever curated show. When he collected his students’ small fees, he financed his very first opera subscription.
Edward’s professional work began in earnest at the Doris Meltzer Gallery in New York, followed by co-ownership of galleries in New York and Washington with potter Jill Hinkley. His teaching of art and architectural studies at NYU, and St. Peter’s College, New Jersey, were the springboard to his academic career.
His deep commitment to art led him to SUNY Plattsburgh, where in 1978 he became Director of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, living his passion for the next 30 years. During that time, the College’s collection grew from 500 to 8000 pieces, with the Student Association becoming a committed partner in the acquisition of art on campus. Their participation and friendship were a never ending source of joy to Ed throughout his tenure. Teaching held a special place in his heart – his mind was attuned to the unusual fusion of the artistic, historical and political realms, and the sharing of his ideas inspired not only students, but all those who spent time in his company.
In addition to expanding the Meisel Collection, the Student Association Collection, the Nina Winkel Collection and the Slatkin Study Room and Collection, and inaugurating the Holocaust Memorial, new galleries were established: the Rockwell Kent Gallery, the Hans and Vera Hirsch Collection, the Louise Norton Room, and the Winkel Sculpture Court.
His vision of art as central to human understanding became a part of the whole Plattsburgh community when, with co-curator Don Osborne, Ed began the Sculpture Park. Installation of large sculptural works on the lawns of the College changed the landscape of the College, and the ways in which people of Plattsburgh came to visualize art.
Ed served as Chairman of the State University of New York Art Gallery Directors and, from 1984 until 1992, he produced the Educated Eye , a publication of the Albany Museum’s study of the holdings of the State University of New York art collections. From 1993 to 1997, Ed chaired the Plattsburgh State Faculty Senate, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. He also received the College Council Distinguished Service Award and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Along with the Council on the Arts for Clinton County, Ed curated and presented the WCFE Arts Auction for many years.
Ed retired from the College in 2008, but remained active in the art community. He then had more time to spend with his beloved Bette – they loved to travel, visit New York museums, watch ballet, listen to Sunday afternoon concerts in Montreal, and welcome friends to their beautiful home. On Sept. 17, 2013, he and his wife were honored for their joint service to the College by the dedication of the Edward and Bette Brohel, Museum Without Walls, which places works of art in public spaces throughout the campus.
Brohel, Edward R. [MC???? RIP]
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I believe that Edward is a member of that great Class of 1953.
May He Rest In Peace.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
Brohel, Edward R. [MC1953 RIP]
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Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) added this request to his prayer circle.
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