Susan Fillin-Yeh, of Block Island, Rhode Island and Manhattan, died on June 9 after a 20-year battle with breast cancer. While living on the island, Susan was an enthusiastic bird watcher, gardener, lover of nature and a member of the Block Island Historical Society.
Susan was a beloved wife, mother, sweet sister, friend, art historian, curator, author, educator, mentor, and radical feminist. She received her PhD from CUNY, taught art history at Brown, Yale and Hunter College and was the director of the D.F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College. The recipient of Andrew Mellon, Smithsonian and Fulbright Fellowships, Susan was the author of “Dandies: Fashion and Finesse in Art and Culture,” as well as numerous art catalogues and articles in publications, such as Art In America. Her latest book explores the work of artist John Sloan. During her 20-year battle with cancer, Susan’s grace and determination were an inspiration. She was a fierce defender of women’s rights and female artists and had a contagious sense of delight.
She is survived by her family and countless friends who travel on more buoyant and confident for having known her. We love you, Susan. You are missed.