Cynthia Navaretta, a native New Yorker, was born Cynthia Greenberg on January 31, 1923, she was a graduate architect and mechanical engineer, a rarity in those days, but made a name for herself in what had been traditionally a male-dominated contemporary art world, beginning in the 1940s.
Over a long life she befriended thousands of artists, working most ardently on behalf of women in the arts and women artists of color, specifically. A quiet force, yet one who earned wide respect. She gained recognition in her educated field by designing the air conditioning and heating systems for the New York World’s Fair in 1964. She published Women Artist’s News and established Mid-March Arts Press in the 1970s.
As a member of The Club in the 1950s, Navaretta was one of just a few women to penetrate that male preserve of Abstract Expressionists. As a result of her early access to the members of the New York School painters and sculptors, she and her late husband, the painter Emanual Navaretta, amassed a noteworthy collection of art. She went on to start a series of artist service organizations and serve on the boards of others including: The Artists Certification Committee of the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York City Loft Board, The Foundation for the Community of Artists, The College Art Association, the Artists Talk on Art steering committee and later board of directors, the Women’s Caucus on Art, the International Association of Art Critics and a number of others. Cynthia also was a founding member of WIA Women In the Arts Foundation, Inc. founded in 1971 working to overcome discrimination against women artists.
Among her many published books were: Women Artists of the World, Mutiny in the Mainstream: Talk that Changed Art 1975–1990 (with Judy Seigel), Gumbo Ya Ya: Anthology of African-American Artists and a Guide to Women’s Art Organizations, to name just a few.
She is survived by her son Miles Navaretta, his wife Deborah and a grandchild.
MC: Susan Schwalb
Primary Memorial Speakers: the series of primary speakers will include (in alphabetical order):
Katie Deepwell, publisher
Kari Grimsby, photographer and website designer
Leslie King Hammond, artist, arts administrator, curator and art historian
Cassandra Langer, art critic, art historian and artist
Kim Levin, art critic and writer
Susan Platt, art historian, art critic
Howardina Pindell, artist
Susan Schwalb, artist , art writer
Douglas I. Sheer, artist, writer and Artist Talk on Art Chairman Emeritus
Dorothy Sinclair, actress and friend
Additional speakers are being allotted time at the conclusion of these remarks.