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Tom Chimes died Monday

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April 24, 2009   ·   6 Comments

Michael Taylor talking about a Thomas Chimes work at Chimes' solo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thanks to Rob Matthews for first alerting us to the death Monday of Philadelphia artist Tom Chimes, and to PAFA for confirming it. At the time of Chimes’ retrospective exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in 2007, he was pretty chipper and charming.

Thomas Chimes at his 2007 exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thomas Chimes at his 2007 exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

He died on the day of his 88th birthday, peacefully slipping away, surrounded by family,  said Michael Taylor, curator of the Chimes retrospective. “His son Dmitri thinks he was determined to make it to 88.”

Here is my absolute favorite Chimes piece ever:

Thomas Chimes, Master and Own, a metal collage

Thomas Chimes, Master and Own, a metal collage

And here’s another that I really loved, with Taylor talking about it at the press opening for Chimes’ retrospective:

Michael Taylor talking about a Thomas Chimes work at Chimes' solo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Michael Taylor talking about a Thomas Chimes work at Chimes' solo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Taylor reminded me that at that opening, I had asked Chimes why most of his subjects were men, and he said Chimes kept coming back to that question in his mind, and then said to Taylor, “I should have done Gertrude Stein.”

Chimes was surrounded by his family when he died, Taylor said. They were reading him famous passages from Homer.

Besides Greek history, Chimes had other interests that came through in his art work. Here he is in front of one of his white paintings of French visionary writer Alfred Jarry, the object of a long term obsession that dominated Chimes’ artist output over a number of decades.

Chimes standing in front of one of his signature images of French writer Alfred Jarry

Chimes standing in front of one of his signature images of French writer Alfred Jarry

“He was such a wonderful man, and I will miss him,” said Taylor. “I just feel honored to have known him.”

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6 Responses to “Tom Chimes died Monday”

  1. Very sad news. Condolences to the family.

  2. Joan Horvath says:

    He will be missed. He was an extraordinary man whose impact will live on.

  3. Christine Rupp says:

    I knew Tom intimately when we worked together in the late 70’s in Philadelphia, and I was proud to call him a true, generous and loyal friend. For one birthday, he gifted me with my selection of any of his studio paintings , and I chose a very small color study full of his provocative passion and intricate thought. It serves as a daily reminder of a wonderful man and teacher, and brings a quick smile every time I ponder it. Thank you, Tom, for being part of my life.

  4. libby says:

    Thanks for sharing that personal memory, Christine!

  5. roberta says:

    Locks Gallery will hold a memorial service for Chimes on Thursday, September 10 at 4 pm.
    http://www.locksgallery.com

  6. […] even more silent thanks to the lack of words left behind by the artist. Whereas someone such as the recently departed Thomas Chimes surrounded his works with volumes of verbage, Hammershoi deafens us with his […]

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