Magda Salvesen to speak on artists’ estates

The Shelter Island Library is thrilled to have Magda Salvesen as our speaker on Friday, Aug. 19. She is the Curator and Administrator of the estate of Jon Schueler, her late husband. Magda will be introduced by a friend and collaborator, Karen Kiaer. Karen, from Shelter Island, is an author and artist. She is active in ArtSI (Artists of Shelter Island). She is an 11th generation Ingersoll and chapter historian of the Shelter Island Daughters of the American Revolution.

Although Magda introduces herself as a curator and administrator, this doesn’t begin to tell the story of her background as an artist, art historian, author and teacher. 

Magda will discuss the complex art world through the unusual lens of those who are left to deal with work artists leave behind after their deaths. For her book, “Artists’ Estates — Reputations in Trust,” Ms. Salvesen interviewed a number of heirs of well-known artists. She comes to this subject with personal experience as the widow of second-generation abstract expressionist painter Jon Schueler. 

To become a knowledgeable curator and administrator, she educated herself, driven by love of her late husband and wanting to ensure his work would live on to be appreciated by generations to come. Much of his work is on display at over 65 museums and other venues around the world. She will speak about how living in their loft with Jon’s paintings reminded her of the imperative to create administrative order for the material that would provide a context for Schueler’s oils, watercolors, drawings and prints, and which would eventually be available in the Jon Schueler Foundation. This will be a fascinating look into conflicts, goals and frustration involved in managing an artist’s estate. All of which I would call, a labor of love.

Please take note that the 12th annual Artists of Shelter Island Open Studio Event takes place Aug. 20 and 21.

A discussion between journalists David Browne and Tom Junod titled “The Sounds of Shelter Island” will take place on Friday, Aug. 26.