In Memoriam: Luba Esther (Kolchin) Eleen, 1928-2018

October 22, 2018 by Department of Art History

We are saddened to learn that Professor Emerita Luba Eleen died on September 24, 2018. Born in Winnipeg and educated at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and the U of T, Luba was the founding member of the department at UTM, then Erindale College. Hired in 1972, she helped launch the new and precedent-setting Art and Art History program, the first collaborative program offered by U of T and Sheridan College. An influential and highly respected scholar of medieval manuscripts and Italian painting, her path into academics was circuitous. After years of work as an activist and mother, she returned to the U of T to complete her undergraduate degree. It was during these years that she was struck by the relationship of art to social and political life and decided to pursue a PhD. Her intellectual interests were vast, encompassing text-image relationships, medieval theology, avant-garde cinema, and classical music. She remained an activist throughout her career; she was instrumental in changing the U of T’s salary structure so that women professors could earn the same as men. She greatly enjoyed being a part of our community, attending student exhibitions, dinners, and other events before and after her retirement in 1994.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, November 11th at Hart House, University of Toronto.