Arthur Jaffe (1921-2015)

Our friend Arthur Jaffe passed away early Sunday morning, January 25. He was not well the last two weeks, but on Saturday night his spirits were good and his voice was clear and he knew what he wanted: ice cream. And so he had ice cream--chocolate--and he went to sleep and passed quietly in the night.

Two years ago he assigned me the task of writing his obituary and me, busy as I am, I kept putting it off. He would ask me about my progress over and over again and finally one day I asked him, "Well... do you want to read it?" "I do," he said. Yesterday, after learning of Arthur's passing, I still had to go in to work. It was the second day of a workshop in Eco Printing at the JCBA Paper Lab at Historic T6, a building he helped rescue. There were ten people there learning how to print from plants and rusty metal. I was there to make sure the instructor had all she needed and while I was there, the students were just getting the prior day's prints out of the dry box. The room was full of astonishment over the prints and these are all the things Arthur loved best: wonder and amazement, connections with books and paper. And of course the ice cream and chocolate he enjoyed the night before.

They got to work on Day Two of their workshop, and me, I got to work on the assignment Arthur gave me two years ago.  It's not easy to distill the legacy of a man like Arthur Jaffe in a few brief paragraphs. If Arthur could, I suspect he would read what I wrote, and then he'd take off his glasses and say to me, "I did all that?" And I would say, "Yes, you did. You're a pretty amazing guy."

John Cutrone
Director, Jaffe Center for Book Arts
Memorial Service information will be posted soon...

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