Van Deren Coke
Van Deren Coke, 83, photographer, writer, educator and former UNM museum director, died July 11.
Coke was appointed founding director of UNM’s University Art Museum in 1962. He later donated more than 1,200 items of his own collection.
He also served as UNM art department chair and professor of art. In the mid-1950’s Coke’s work began to emerge at individual and group exhibitions around the world. He continued to lecture and stage exhibitions until early this year, lecturing in the fields of art history, the history of photography and Mexican folk art. He also continued to write books, including “Painting in New Mexico” which will be published posthumously.
He is survived by his second wife, Joan (nee Gillberry), and his children Browning and Sterling Coke, both of Albuquerque. His first wife, Eleanor, died in 1984.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 18 at
1 p.m. in Keller Hall at UNM’s Center for the Arts. A retrospective exhibition of Coke’s work will be held concurrently at the University of New Mexico Art Museum.
In lieu of flowers, Coke requested donations be made to the Van Deren Coke Graduate Scholarship Fund, Department of Art and Art History, MSCO4 25601, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131.