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 Estelle Condit “Suzy” <I>Frelinghuysen</I> Morris

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Estelle Condit “Suzy” Frelinghuysen Morris

  • Birth 1911 Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
  • Death 19 Mar 1988 Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
  • Memorial ID 88589430

Suzy Frelinghuysen, Artist, Is Dead at 76
New York Times, March 23, 1988

Suzy Frelinghuysen, a former opera singer and a painter whose work is increasingly recognized by collectors and museums, died of a stroke on Saturday in Pittsfield, Mass. She was 76 years old, and had homes in New York City and Lenox, Mass.

An admirer of Juan Gris and Georges Braque, Ms. Frelinghuysen was best known for her paintings and collages of the 1940's, done in a synthetic Cubist style reminiscent of theirs, but with the formal elements manipulated in a highly personal manner. Ms. Frelinghuysen recently sold a work to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Born to a socially prominent New Jersey family in 1912, she was named Estelle Condit Frelinghuysen, but preferred the nickname Suzy, bestowed by her brothers. She attended Miss Fine's School in Princeton, and then studied voice. She married the abstract painter George L. K. Morris in 1935 Under the name of Suzy Morris, she won considerable acclaim for several seasons as a soprano with the City Center Opera, making her debut in ''Ariadne auf Naxos'' in 1947.

Suzy Frelinghuysen was born in 1911 in New Jersey and descended from a long line of clergymen and politicians. Her grandfather Frederick T. Frelinghuysen was Secretary of State under President Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Frelinghuysen was a Senator from New Jersey who opposed Jackson's removal of the Cherokees from their land and ran as a VP candidate with Henry Clay.

Suzy was named Estelle, after her mother, but given the nickname of Suzy by her four brothers who thought their baby sister resembled a monkey they had just visited at the zoo. Suzy was educated at Miss Fine's in Princeton and privately tutored in art and music and made childhood trips to Europe. In 1935 she married Morris who encouraged her painting and in 1938 became the first woman artist to have a painting placed in the permanent collection of the Museum of Living Art. Her principal interest remained music and after WWII she auditioned for the New York City Opera and became an instant success, singing the lead roles as a dramatic soprano in "Tosca" and "Ariadne auf Naxos" under the name Suzy Morris. She toured opera houses and recital halls in Europe and the United States. Her career was cut short with her retirement in 1951 after a bout of bronchitis. She began painting full time again, achieving some of her finest works. When asked how she reconciled the two art forms, singing and painting, she told an interviewer, "In painting, you're concerned with the arrangement of forms. On the stage, which is your frame, you're concerned with arranging yourself. It's like a picture, only, of course, you're moving."

She died in 1988 in Lenox, Massachusetts and left instructions in her will that the house and art collection be used for an educational purpose.

Her work is intently sought after by private collectors and can be viewed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Carnegie Art Institute.

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  • Created by: OurFamilyTies
  • Added: 15 Apr 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 88589430
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Estelle Condit “Suzy” Frelinghuysen Morris (1911–19 Mar 1988), Find A Grave Memorial no. 88589430, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by OurFamilyTies (contributor 46846981) .