Christine Kendall (Herter) (1890 - 1981)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Natalie Tan
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About Christine Kendall (Herter)

Christine Herter, primarily known as Christine Herter Kendall, was born into a family that was devoted to the arts, involved significantly in the medical sciences, and contributed much to the cultural history of this country. Her early life in this prominent family shaped her career as an accomplished landscape and portrait artist, musician, patron of the arts, philanthropist and founder of the Garth Newel Music Center.

Her first cousin was Christian Herter, Secretary of State in the Eisenhower Administration. She studied the violin as a child and her family spent many evenings playing chamber music together. She went on to study painting in Paris and then at Yale. She continued to paint throughout her life and many of her paintings hang here at Garth Newel.

Following her husband’s death, Christine donated much of the property to the Girl Scouts of America to be used as a summer camp. The Girl Scouts found that it was too much to maintain, so she regained possession in 1969 and began to search for another use.

A mutual friend arranged for Christine to meet Luca and Arlene DiCecco, who at the time were cellist and violinist of the Rowe String Quartet. At Christine’s urging the Di Ceccos began a chamber music study program for their students in the summer of 1973, and the Rowe Quartet began giving concerts on the property. Christine arranged for repairs to long-abandoned buildings, including the conversion of the indoor riding ring where the Arabian horses had once trained into a wonderful concert hall.

Christine died in June 1981, bequeathing the property and a modest fund to the Garth Newel Music Center Foundation. The DiCeccos devoted themselves to the continued development of the Music Center and it grew from a season of a half-dozen concerts in the mid-70s to more than 50 today. In addition to playing the violin, Arlene used her talents as chef to add gourmet meals to the concerts. Overnight accommodations in the Manor House and Christine’s Cottage, as well as the beautiful scenery, complete an aesthetic experience that is second to none.

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