TERRY ADKINS, COMPOSER OF ART, SCULPTOR OF MUSIC
By MARGALIT FOX
FEB. 22, 2014
The cause was heart failure, his dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn said.
A sculptor and saxophonist, Mr. Adkins was at his death a professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. His genre-blurring pieces, which might combine visual art, spoken-word performance, video and live music in a single installation, had lately made him “a newly minted breakaway star” on the international art scene, as The New York Times described him in December.
Mr. Adkins’s work — cerebral yet viscerally evocative, unabashedly Modernist yet demonstrably rooted in African traditions — has been exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
His art is in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and the Tate Modern in London.
His work will be shown this year as part of the Whitney Biennial, which runs from March 7 to May 25 at the museum.
“Terry always saw object and sound and movement and words and images all as the material for his art,” Thelma Golden, the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, said in an interview on Friday. “He was so deeply inspired by aesthetics, philosophy, spirituality, music, history and culture, and he had such a fertile and generative mind, that he was always able to move between many different ideas and create a lot of space and meaning in a work.”
To his sculpture, Mr. Adkins sought to bring the fleeting impermanence of music, creating haunting assemblages of found objects — wood, cloth, coat hangers, spare parts from junkyards — that evoked vanished histories.
To his improvisational, jazz-inflected music, he brought the muscular physicality of sculpture, forging immense, curious instruments from assorted materials. Many were playable, including a set of 18-foot-long horns he called arkaphones.
The sculpture and the music were meant to be experienced in tandem, and with his band, the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Mr. Adkins staged multimedia performance pieces that fused the visual and the aural. Many were homages to pathbreaking figures in African-American history, among them the abolitionist John Brown, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the musicians Bessie Smith, John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix.
“Meteor Stream: Recital in Four Dominions,” for instance, was one of a cycle of works in which Mr. Adkins honored Brown. In that piece, performed in 2009 at the American Academy in Rome, he explored Brown’s storied past through an amalgam of music, sculpture, video, drawing and readings from Brown’s own writings.
In an installation devoted to Hendrix, Mr. Adkins homed in on lesser-known aspects of his subject’s personal history, including his service in the early 1960s as a paratrooper in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
To research a piece on the life of the African-American explorer Matthew Henson, who accompanied Robert Peary on several expeditions, including the one Peary said reached the North Pole in 1909, Mr. Adkins traveled to the Arctic to experience Henson’s milieu firsthand.
At its core, all of Mr. Adkins’s work was about how the past suffuses the present and vice versa.
Terry Roger Adkins was born in Washington on May 9, 1953, into a musical household. His father, Robert, a teacher, sang and played the organ; his mother, Doris Jackson, a nurse, was an amateur clarinetist and pianist.
Mr. Adkins, who also maintained a home in Philadelphia, is survived by his wife, Merele Williams-Adkins, whom he married in 1992; a son, Titus Hamilton Adkins; a daughter, Turiya Hamlet Adkins; his mother; two brothers, Bruce and Jon; and two sisters, Karen Randolph and Debbie Vereen.
His work was the subject of a major retrospective in 2012 at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It has also been featured at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) in Queens, the LedisFlam Gallery in Brooklyn and elsewhere. In an interview with the website danaroc.com, Mr. Adkins spoke of his desire to reconcile the temporal imperatives of music with the spatial ones of art.
“My quest has been to find a way to make music as physical as sculpture might be, and sculpture as ethereal as music is,” he said. “It’s kind of challenging to make both of those pursuits do what they are normally not able to do.”
GARRICK UTLEY, A MAINSTAY AT NBC NEWS
FEB. 21, 2014
He died of prostate cancer, his wife, Gertje Utley, said.
From the battlefields of Vietnam and Iraq to the Soviet-led invasion of Prague, Mr. Utley was a forthright interviewer of troops and commanders in the field and of presidents and diplomats in the halls of power.
Fluent in Russian, German and French, he reported from about 75 countries in a multifaceted career that included 30 years at NBC. He was a bureau chief in London and Paris for the network, chief foreign correspondent, weekend news anchor and substitute for John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News.” He also hosted magazine programs and moderated the Sunday morning program “Meet the Press.” He later worked for ABC News and CNN.
Mr. Utley began his career auspiciously, rising from office clerk to Vietnam War correspondent in one year. In 1964 he became one of the first network reporters based in Saigon, joining newspaper and wire service correspondents. Like some of his colleagues, he strived for meaningful reporting, offering longer perspectives on political issues and battlefield developments and bringing a little-known war home vividly to Americans.
In 1968, Mr. Utley covered the invasion of Czechoslovakia as Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces crushed the so-called Prague Spring political reforms. He covered the 1973 Yom Kippur war, interviewed the Nazi leader Albert Speer in 1976, reported on the Cold War from Berlin and Moscow and, in 1987, interviewed the dissident physicist Andrei D. Sakharov as he emerged from years of internal exile. He covered a summit of Presidents George H. W. Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev in 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall that same year and the Persian Gulf war in 1990.
Mr. Utley was no swashbuckler in a trench coat: He was a gangly 6-foot-6 scarecrow with gentle eyes and a wry smile who slouched beside his small German-born wife. He loved opera and for years was the host of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on PBS. He was also a workhorse on assignment, an aggressive voice in the studio and a critic of the networks when they cut back international news coverage and in-depth reporting.
Serious television reporting has largely been replaced by “interminable talking heads,” he told The New York Times in 2004, when he joined a State University of New York graduate program in international relations in Manhattan. “Since television can now report live from anywhere in the world, television reporters sometimes become color commentators who narrate news events rather than carrying out in-depth news reporting.”
Clifton Garrick Utley was born in Chicago on Nov. 19, 1939, to Clifton Utley, an NBC radio and television commentator, and Frayn Garrick Utley, a broadcast reporter for CBS and NBC and a Chicago civic leader. He graduated from Westtown School in West Chester, Pa., in 1957, and from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., in 1961.
After Army service and graduate studies at the Free University in Berlin, Mr. Utley joined NBC in Brussels in 1963 on the recommendation of a family friend, the correspondent Mr. Chancellor, who became his mentor. Mr. Utley was soon covering the war in Indochina.
In 1973 he married Gertje Rommeswinkel, an art historian and author who sometimes accompanied him on assignments. Besides his wife, he is survived by two brothers, Jonathan and David.
In the early 1970s, he anchored Saturday evening news programs in New York before being succeeded in 1973 by Mr. Brokaw, then a rising NBC star. For the rest of the decade Mr. Utley was the network’s London bureau chief and senior European correspondent.
Returning to New York, he wrote and anchored “NBC White Paper: America — Black and White,” on the black experience since the civil rights era, in 1981. He was NBC’s chief correspondent in the 1980s, covering foreign and domestic affairs, including presidential campaigns.
He moderated “Meet the Press” from 1989 to 1991 and anchored weekend news programs from 1988 to 1993. He left NBC in 1993 and until 1996 was ABC’s London-based chief foreign correspondent. From 1997 to 2002 he reported for CNN; he co-anchored the network’s coverage of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
His memoir, “You Should Have Been Here Yesterday: A Life in Television News,” was published in 2000, almost simultaneously with his wife’s book “Picasso: The Communist Years.”
Mr. Utley won a Peabody Award and the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award. He was president of SUNY’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce in Manhattan from 2004 to 2011, studying New York’s role in the global economy. He later taught journalism and broadcasting at the State University of New York at Oswego.
ALISON JOLLY, WHO FOUND FEMALE DOMINANCE IN LEMURS
By PAUL VITELLO
FEB. 18, 2014
The cause was breast cancer, said Barbara Orlando, a longtime friend.
Dr. Jolly’s two major insights emerged from her 1960s field studies of the lemur, a primate whose development in relative isolation on the island of Madagascar makes the species something akin to a living fossil.
Writing in the journal Science in 1966, Dr. Jolly cited lemurs’ complex social relationships as evidence of an unexplored trail in one of anthropology’s great mysteries: the evolution of higher intelligence. She suggested that the many hours lemurs spent in play, mutual grooming and networking — activities that establish social ties and hierarchies — may have been as important to the evolution of intelligence as the development of weapons and tools, then considered the hallmark of evolutionary advance.
More unnerving to colleagues was her discovery that in some primate species, females run the show. The finding upended a bedrock assertion in evolutionary biology, based on studies of chimpanzees and orangutans in captivity, that males dominated females in every primate species, including humans.
“Females have social, spatial and feeding priority over males,” Dr. Jolly wrote in describing the feeding, mating, child-rearing and recreational habits of the ring-tailed lemur, one of about 100 recognized species of lemur, of which more than a dozen are female-dominant. Among the ring-tailed lemurs, Dr. Jolly wrote in “Lemur Behavior: A Madagascar Field Study,” “all females, whether dominant or subordinate in the female hierarchy, are dominant over males.”
The most subordinate females would “at times pounce upon a dominant male and snatch a tamarind pod from his hand, cuffing him over the ear in the process,” she added.
Dr. Jolly’s findings were eventually accepted, though not without resistance, said Patricia C. Wright, a primatologist, lemur expert and professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University on Long Island.
“This was a real surprise to people in the ’60s,” Dr. Wright said. “Female leaders were still so rare. And here comes a woman presenting a model of primates where the females are leaders — effective leaders.”
Dr. Jolly, who wrote a half-dozen books and over a hundred papers while teaching and raising four children, variously did her research under the aegis of the New York Zoological Society, now called the Wildlife Conservation Society, Rockefeller and Princeton Universities and the Universities of Cambridge and Sussex in England. She was considered rare among figures of her prominence in never having sought a tenured university post. At her death she was a visiting scientist at Sussex.
Colleagues described Dr. Jolly as a quiet path maker. She received less attention than contemporaries like the primatologist Jane Goodall, even though she helped change the field and pioneered a brand of environmental activism that has helped preserve vast, fecund sections of Madagascar.
Dr. Jolly persuaded Madagascar’s frequently unstable governments to expand wilderness preserves that are home to lemurs and thousands of other species of animals and plants found nowhere else. She later wrote a series of children’s books in hopes of raising environmental awareness among the country’s young. The books chronicle the adventures of Ako, Tik Tik and Bitika, lemurs that confront daily environmental threats.
The naturalist David Attenborough, who featured her in his natural history programs for the BBC, said of Dr. Jolly in a recent tribute, “Not only lemurs, but the people and land of Madagascar captured her heart.”
Dr. Jolly received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell in 1958 and her Ph.D. in zoology from Yale in 1962. She made several extended trips to Madagascar for the field studies that informed her writings, including her books “The Evolution of Primate Behavior” (1972), “A World Like Our Own: Man and Nature in Madagascar” (1980) and “Lucy’s Legacy: Sex and Intelligence in Human Evolution” (1999).
Her survivors include her husband, Richard Jolly, a British economist; four children, Margaretta, Susan, Arthur and Richard Jr.; and four grandchildren.
In 2006, a new species of mouse lemur, the tiny Microcebus jollyae, was named in her honor.
In “A World Like Our Own,” Dr. Jolly described the allure of lemurs and their Texas-size habitat off the southeast coast of Africa. Lemurs provided “a clue to the moment when our own ancestors began to specialize in sociability,” she wrote. And Madagascar, she added, offered a chance to see “which rules would still hold true if time had once broken its banks and flowed to the present down a different channel.”
MIKE STEPOVICH, WHO LED ALASKA TO STATEHOOD
FEB. 19, 2014
The cause was complications of a fall, his daughter Antonia Gore said.
Mr. Stepovich bridged Alaska’s past and future, and not just politically. In the late 1890s, his father, Marko, a miner chasing the Klondike gold rush, traveled from his native Montenegro to a frontier then called the District of Alaska.
Decades later, the miner’s first son had become a lawyer in the growing city of Fairbanks, a representative in the legislature of the Territory of Alaska and, in 1957, at age 38, the governor of the territory, appointed by a fellow Republican, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Mr. Stepovich’s most memorable achievement in office was that he worked himself out of it.
For years, many Alaskans resisted statehood, uncertain that they wanted the federal involvement that came with it, and plenty of members of Congress were uncertain about adding to the federal government’s responsibilities with a 49th state. But Mr. Stepovich lobbied for the cause across Alaska and elsewhere, particularly on Capitol Hill, where he was one of the effort’s most visible faces.
His diplomacy, persistent but warm, was widely credited with helping to build consensus. On June 9, 1958, with momentum toward statehood peaking, his portrait appeared on the cover of Time magazine along with an illustration of a totem pole.
On June 30, Congress approved a bill granting Alaska statehood. Eisenhower signed it on July 7. A month later, Mr. Stepovich resigned. But he did not lose interest in politics.
With Alaska set to become a state in January 1959, five major offices in Alaska were in play in a special election that November: two Senate seats, a House seat, the governorship and the post of secretary of state. The only one that Republicans believed they could win was a Senate seat, because Mr. Stepovich was seeking it.
Vice President Richard M. Nixon spent three days in Alaska speaking on his behalf. Interior Secretary Fred A. Seaton stayed two weeks. Republicans emphasized that Mr. Stepovich was 39, with a long, presumably bright future, while his Democratic opponent, Ernest Gruening, was 71. He had served 13 years as territorial governor, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Despite the Republican push, Democrats swept all of the offices — the Stepovich-Gruening race was the closest — increasing their margin in the Senate to 64 to 34. Mr. Stepovich ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1962, losing a close race to the incumbent, William A. Egan, with whom he had lobbied for statehood a few years earlier. In 1966, he lost in the Republican primary for governor to Walter J. Hickel, who was elected that fall (and who later became secretary of the interior under Nixon).
Mike Anthony Stepovich was born in Fairbanks on March 12, 1919, the only child of Marko and Olga Stepovich. He moved to Oregon with his mother after his parents separated.
He graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., in 1941. (His daughter Nada was a star volleyball player at Gonzaga, where she met John Stockton, a basketball star there and later in the N.B.A. They married, and their son, David, now plays basketball for Gonzaga.) Mr. Stepovich received a law degree from Notre Dame in 1943.
After serving in the Navy, he returned to Fairbanks to practice law and served in the territorial House and Senate, where he was minority leader and fought Democratic efforts to raise taxes on mining, fishing and logging. After his political career ended in the 1960s, he continued to practice law in Fairbanks until moving back to Oregon in 1978.
Besides his daughters Antonia and Nada, he is survived by four other daughters, Maria Greulich, Laura Tramonte, Andrea McGill and Melissa Cook; seven sons, Michael, Peter, Christopher, Dominic, Theodore, Nicholas and James; 37 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two half-sisters, Nada Houston and Ellen Burdette; and two half-brothers, Michael and Alexander Stepovich. His wife, the former Matilda Baricevic, died in 2003.
The family had eight children when they moved into the governor’s mansion in Juneau in 1957 — a big step up from their small house in Fairbanks. Looking back at that time in a 1958 profile in The New York Times, he said he had discovered a black limousine in the mansion’s garage, its license plate bearing a single digit.
“I’m going to have the kids paint some more numbers on there,” he recalled thinking. “Imagine me with license plate No. 1.”