The Southern Vermont Arts Center lost a dear and longtime friend with the death on Dec. 31 of Elfriede Abbe. A nationally-recognized sculptor, wood engraver and botanical illustrator, Elfriede had been an active member of the Arts Center family since the mid-1960s when she spent her summers in Manchester and taught printmaking on an old press she had trucked up to our campus; for many years she also printed our programs, posters and announcements. She moved here permanently in 1973, settling in with an old platen press and a letter press to create her classic and specialty books.
She was trained as a sculptor and had a special liking for wood sculpture.
Elfriede's work was rarely absent from our Yester House Galleries exhibits; countless collectors boast owning at least one of her delightful wood engravings. She will be missed. My favorite is of a great blue heron alighting in a serene mountain pool. I'd like to think that the regal heron will always be watching over Elfriede.
John B. LaVecchia
President, Southern Vermont Arts Center
Director of Development Southern Vermont Arts Center