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Obituary of Nina Sundell

Obituary Text:

Nina Sundell passed away on August 3, 2014, peacefully and at home, her son and daughter, Margaret and David Sundell, both of New York City, at her side. She is also survived by her daughter, Marianne Sundell of Wendell, MA, her cousin, Marieve Rugo, of Boston, three grandchildren, Lillian and J.H. Sundell-Thomas and Tomas Laddaga, and her son-in-law Reinaldo Laddaga. She was the widow of Michael Gordon Sundell, whom she met in her junior year of college; they were, in her words, "life-long best friends." Née Nina-Giulia Antonia Matilda Krauss Castelli, she was born July 22, 1936, in Vienna, and spent her first years in Paris. She emigrated to New York during World War II, accompanied by her beloved nanny Frances Grundy and her parents, Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend, renowned dealers and champions of post-war avant-garde art. A visionary curator, Sundell shared her parents' passion and worked to introduce contemporary art to audiences throughout the United States at a time when its exhibition was largely restricted to New York.In 1968, she co-founded, with Marjorie Tallalay, The New Gallery, later renamed the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. Having moved to Washington D.C. in 1973, she then joined forces with Susan Sollins from 1975-1978 to establish Independent Curators Incorporated (ICI), which organized ambitious and artistically challenging exhibitions and is now known as Independent Curators International. From 1984 to 1990, Sundell served as director of the art gallery of Lehman College, CUNY, in the Bronx. She spent her final decades supporting her husband's work as president of the artist and writer's colony, Yaddo, traveling with family and close friends, and authoring a novel entitled The Dallek Touch. Witty, wise, and wide-ranging in her knowledge and love of the arts, she will be sorely missed not only by family but also by her many friends and associates. The family is grateful to Dr. Leslie Boyd, MD and her staff at NYU Langone Medical Center and Dorien Spelbrink and her staff at Heaven Can Wait, LLC for their care and support during her last years.A memorial, to be announced, is planned for the fall.In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Obituary Publication:

On August 16, 2014

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