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Name: Annette Sacks Friedman
Date: American, 1917 - 2013
Remarks: Class of 1933
Biography: 11/07/2013 Annette Sacks Friedman was born May, 25 1917, deceased November 3, 2013. Beloved Mother of Sandra Friedman Alpert and Ronald Friedman. Adored Mother-in-law of Mickey Alpert and her NZ grandson, Peter Friedman. Museum Class sculptor famous for bronzes including “Family Commitment” ( Johnson Museum) Famous collectors of her elegant Bronze and Marplex originals include Jose Carreras, tenor and Nuri Yurt, whose influential hair style clients include many outstanding women including two Presidents’ wives. All of Annette’s lost wax casting has been done by the highly regarded Ranieri Casting Studio, who departed from Prince Street after the tremendous trauma of 911 and now casts in Long Island City. Annette was one of Sir Dominic Ranieri’s first customers even though he just arrived from Italy with few English skills. When they first met, she was studying sculpture under Chiam Grosse after twenty years of oil painting and she spoke no Italian. In spite of their age and culture differences, Annette and Dominic always understood each other through the language of the art of the human heart. They remained lifelong friends. Annette is one of the first artists to sculpt in clay and cast in Marplex, a new resin developed by Ranieri. Her “Serenity Bird” is a gorgeous pink example of Ranieri’s new resin, Marplex, which combines the luminosity of Plexiglas with the permanence of Marble. Annette’s sculpture “Reflection” was bought by Barcelona tenor, Jose Carreras on the opening day of one of a D.C. art show. The show was unique as it featured Annette’s art, secluded under beautiful Indian silk saris, unveiled slowly to a reading of a script created by her daughter, read by poet, Lane Jennings, and danced by a young ballet dancer from The Washington Ballet School accompanied by the music of two New York musicians. Turkish TV news covered this star studded, well attended, highly successful show at Toka, D.C. Other outstanding shows of Annette’s art include pieces selected by Virlana Tkacz, the talented producer of works at La Mama and Yara Art Shows at the Ukrainian Institute’s mansion at Fifth Avenue and Central Park, as well as Annette’s exclusive exhibition at the Washington Women’s Democratic Club. Mrs. Friedman was also part of the shows “Three Points of View” and “Is American Democracy Falling Apart?” where she showed selected distinguished sculptures. In the latter show, she featured an antique scale( her daughter found) showing Annette’s White Marplex bird far outweighing Annette’s Black Identical Twin bird, thus highlighting racial inequities in America . Annette often got productive ideas, such as the original sculpture “Woman Swimming against the Current,” (created in Marble and cast in Marplex) from a discussions with her daughter and exploration of Sandy’s belief system. Annette served on the Board for Sandy’s not for profit organization, Fine Art for World Peace. Although she won an Ivy League Art Show competition, Annette’s powerful Bronze “Family Commitment,” (which her daughter rescued from the family trashcan) was subsequently accepted in the prestigious Johnson Museum Collection at a wonderful ceremony at Cornell University. Annette lacked the artistic ego, but thrived on the encouragement of Ranieri, Sandy and her whole family’s love of her work. Mother and daughter frequented the New York art museums and galleries and her daughter, a writer/editor created and published a poetic catalog for Annette, titled after her daughter’s favorite sculpture, “Family Commitment”. This catalog featured an imaginative tale of an American Indian’s Vision Quest as a metaphor for Annette’s artistic journey from talented oil painter to incredibly gifted sculptor. In line with her daughter’s interest in the American Indian culture, Annette sculpted an Indian Woman and a little bird piercingly focused eye to eye titled “Agape” by Sandy. The Mother and daughter team collaborated with the highly talented architect/artist, Armen Kankanian on a very original concept featuring a “Fountain Of All Faiths” and many collective ideas, in a design which was submitted, but not chosen, for the new World Trade Center for their loved, tragically damaged, New York City. In the same direction, Annette assisted her daughter in assembling and editing a creative book about September 11, “Reflections.” Annette is one of the very few adults to survive the NY polio epidemic. In large part, she survived because her husband refused to put her in an iron lung and brought in physical therapists to manipulate her limbs. In addition to looks and artistic originality and recognition, Annette survived as a strong amateur athlete and became the first woman golfer to score a hole in one on the island of Jamaica. After she and her husband, Sidney flew back from a business trip in Europe, they won the husband and wife golf tournament at Ridgeway Country Club in White Plains on the same day they arrived. Her Father, Nathan, a Mason, owned Eastern Farms Dairy. Her sense of responsibility and honor came in part from her Father, who refused to leave the school children and hospital patients without milk during the big milk strike in New York City. Her Mother Sadie Bleistift Sacks, a college teacher at Hunter College, and a dedicated philanthropist, initiated the raising of funds for a TB Hospital for her Brooklyn neighborhood. In addition, she was the first known NY coach of a male basketball team. One of Annette’s aunts married into the Seagram’s family and another opened the first and greatly successful Jewish deli in Tokyo, Japan. Annette was a graduate of Cornell University and the spouse of prominent Wall Street attorney Sidney O. Friedman (deceased). Sidney was attorney to a very unique group of financial investors, actors and sports figures. Mr. Friedman saved Mickey Mantle from a lifetime low contract that Mickey signed on his train ride to the Yankees from Tulsa and Sidney successfully intervened for the Yankee players involved in the well covered “Copacabana brawl”. Sidney represented Dan Topping and the NY Yankees as well as Madison Square Garden, Betsy Bloomingdale, Audrey Hepburn, the French Rothschild’s and Joseph Mankiewicz, Producer of “Cleopatra” and “Barefoot Contessa”. He also represented Georges Lurcey, the prominent American collector of French Impressionist Art as well as many other distinguished gallery owners and classical music performers and luminaries of their time. Among the pleasures of entertaining with his internationally renowned clientele, Annette and Sidney enjoyed a private tour of Versailles and an invitation to Audrey Hepburn’s private villa in Marbella, Spain. Annette was a beautiful woman and fabulous, polished hostess, often finding and featuring young, promising musicians to play piano and sing at their upper West Side home. Her Husband adored her, although they came from vastly different backgrounds. He climbed out of the lower East Side to attend City and then Columbia Law School. Too young to take, Sidney made law review and clerked for a famous Judge in the case of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. He won over his skeptical Mother-in-law by his beautifully written romantic suitcase of love letters which he wrote to Annette. He also won over Annette’s twin brother, Fred, by beating him in in a tennis match. Annette’s family recognized the love between the two of them and remained proud of Sidney’s legal work which included his swearing in at the Supreme Court to argue and win for his British clients. Her twin brother Fred won many matches with his polo ponies at Cornell but was most distinguished as a Captain in the American Air Force where he and his crew laid down airstrips in undeveloped places for the Allied Forces’ landings. Annette is missed for her incredible warmth, vast talent and her originality. A documentary film about Annette’s life and artistic work is in progress.