Dr Anthea Brook

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Dr Anthea Brook

In tribute to the memory of the popular neighbourhood figure and distinguished art historian.

Dr Brook was a well-known, warmly regarded and active member of our community, with many achievements to enrich our local area.

In her role as Chair of the Friends of Paignton Park, Dr Brook organised several successful and well attended events, including the Picnic in the Park for local families and their friends, a film showing of "Finding Nemo", a musical event with performances by several musicians, and also the colourful planting of the flower beds at the Park end of Richmond Road.

Committee members will recall the gracious welcome they always received in the book-lined home of Dr Brook and the lively and enthusiastic discussions that would follow as the events were being planned and arranged.

Dr Brook was also an active supporter of the Vartry Community Residents' Association and even found time for running with the Springfield Running Group, cycling and playing African drums.

The qualities of character, intellectual strength and dedication to high-minded pursuits that were well known in her work in the communitywere also strongly evident in the professional life of Dr Brook.

She was an independent scholar specialising in the art-historically important area of 17th century Florentine sculpture.

In her early years, Dr Brook contributed catalogue entries for the exhibition Giambologna (1529-1608), Sculptor to the Medici (shown in Edinburgh, London and Vienna in 1978-1979). She completed her Doctoral thesis on Ferdinando Tacca and His Circle for the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1987 and worked in the Witt Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art between 1987 and 2009.

Her scholarly studies were presented in many learned journals, exhibition catalogues, books of collected essays and dictionaries, and in exhibition reviews on the Florentine contemporaries and followers of Giambologna, and their late Baroque successors and her book, Pietro Tacca a Livorno: il monumento a Ferdinando I de Medici was published in 2008.

Recent writings focussed on Cosimo Cappelli in Modena, Ornamental Works for the Cappella Torri in the Madonna del Voto. She was preparing a further book for publication on Ferdinando Tacca and in latter years also
conducting research on the Tuscan sculptor, medallist and fountain architect Rutilio Gaci (1565-1635).

Dr Brook has completed her life's work at an early age. We respectfully remember her personal presence in our community and we pay tribute to the distinction of her academic accomplishments in the world of art - a world
with inherent power to beautify and transform the lives of us all.

May her soul be granted to rest in peace.

With thanks to Roger Shlomo Harris and his sister for the words and permission from the family to use the photos.