Elizabeth M. Brooke

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Elizabeth Muhlenberg Brooke Blake

Birthdate: (100)
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: August 8, 2016 (100)
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of George Clymer Brooke and Lucille Carter
Wife of Edward J Reeves
Ex-wife of Thomas Wilton Phipps
Mother of <private> Reeves
Half sister of William Thornton II Carter and Lucille Polk Reeves

Managed by: Geoffrey David Trowbridge
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Elizabeth M. Brooke

Elizabeth Muhlenberg Brooke Blake, 100, Born April 25, 1916, in Philadelphia, Pa., lived every one of her 100 years to the hilt before passing away on Aug. 8, 2016, at her summer home in Newport, R.I. The daughter of George Brooke Jr. and Titanic survivor Lucille Polk Carter Brooke of Birdsboro, Pa., Mrs. Blake, known as "Betty" or "Boop" to her devoted friends, developed a lifelong passion for art after being sent to Paris to study at Madame Chapon's school. On her thrice-weekly visits to the Louvré, she fell in love with 18th- and 19th-century works, which led her to explore and begin collecting contemporary art. Mrs. Blake became a dynamic force in the art world, opening the first modern-art gallery in Texas, the Betty McLean Gallery, in 1951, and serving as a trustee, president and chairman of the board of the American Federation of Arts. Mrs. Blake also served as a commissioner to the National Museum of American Art, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum. A longtime trustee of the Dallas Museum of Art and member of the Texas Commission on the Arts, she also served on the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's acquisitions board for over five decades and was considered a major factor in the success of the Fort Worth Circle artistic movement. She was the great-great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the first speaker of the United States House of Representatives. His father, German missionary Henry Melchior Mühlenberg, wed Anna Maria Weiser, daughter of Indian treaty negotiator Conrad Weiser, and became known as the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America. While in London, Mrs. Blake became a Christian Scientist; she remained a follower throughout her life. In 2011, she became enamored of the Frederick Muhlenberg house in Trappe, Pa., now the Speaker's House, during a visit to accept its Speaker's Choice Award. She is survived by daughter Joan Reeves Lapham and son-in-law Lewis Lapham, of New York, sons Thomas Blake of Newport, Douglas and daughter-in-law Diane Grodin Blake of Dallas; grandchildren Andrew Polk Lapham (Caroline Mulroney Lapham) of Toronto, Ontario; Principessa Delphina Lapham Boncompagni Ludovisi (Prince Bante Boncompagni Ludovisi) of Rome, Italy; Winston Lapham of New York; Elizabeth Brooke Blake of Newport; Matthew Walter Blake (Courtney Brennan Blake) of Spicewood, Texas; Justin Douglas Blake (Jentri Clay Blake) of Brenham, Texas; and Thomas Andrew Blake of Austin, Texas, and Crested Butte, Colo.; and 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved son, Wilton Phipps. A private burial will take place in Newport, R.I. A memorial celebration will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bailey's Beach Club, 34 Ocean Ave., Newport. Arrangements for a memorial celebration in Dallas are pending. Memorial contributions in Mrs. Blake's honor may be sent to The Speaker's House.

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Elizabeth M. Brooke's Timeline

April 25, 1916
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
August 8, 2016
Age 100
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States