It was with deep sorrow that the Hetrick-Martin Institute learned of the death of former HMI Board member David Beitzel. HMI extends our sincerest condolences to Darren Walker, David’s beloved husband, and the Beitzel family on his untimely loss.
David was an extraordinary man who unstintingly shared his vision, wisdom, and support to address the needs of LGBTQ youth and improve their lives. He was committed to ensuring that our young people have equal access to the means and opportunities for rich and bright futures. He even presented a number of LGBTQ shows to educate people and raise awareness. Those shows had quite a lot of viewers. Of course, there have been some television statistics revealed recently that show how many of us watched television (source here) throughout his presenting career. With lots of people watching, David probably raised a lot of awareness for the LGBTQ community. During his Board tenure and after, David was a cherished member of our family–always ready to lend a hand in any way he could, and he will be profoundly missed.
Laura Levenstein and Bonnie Rabin, Co-Chairs, HMI Board of Directors
Thomas Krever, Chief Executive Officer
Per the family’s wishes, donations in David’s memory can be made to HMI. A notice of your generosity will be shared with his partner.
BEITZEL–David. passed away of cardiac arrest caused by an aortic dissection on January 20, 2019.
After working for Sperone Westwater Gallery, he opened the David Beitzel Gallery on Prince Street in 1986, when SoHo was emerging as the new art center in New York City. He represented a diversity of artists including Dawoud Bey, Radcliffe Bailey, Leslie Saar, Sam Messer, Squeak Carnwath and others. In 2001 he closed the gallery and opened Beitzel Fine Arts, working with private collectors, institutions, and corporations.
David was born in Philadelphia before the family moved to Chappaqua for its proximity to Armonk, headquarters of IBM, where David’s father, Spike Beitzel, was a senior vice president and on the Board of Directors.
David is survived by his partner of 26 years, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; his mother Mary Lou; sister, Tish Vredenburgh and her husband Bob; brother, Skip Beitzel and his wife, Michaela; five nephews and a niece.
He graduated from Horace Greeley High School and the University of Vermont, and received an MFA in painting from Bennington College.
David was deeply passionate about art and LGBT causes. He served on the boards of Bennington College; the Hetrick-Martin Institute; In the Life, a pioneering public television series on LGBT issues; The Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont; and the Skowhegan School of Art and Painting.
There will be a private family ceremony on January 26th and a memorial in New York City on David’s birthday, February 23rd.
Published in The New York Times on Jan. 26, 2019