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Ted Cooper dies at 72

Director, owner of Adams Davidson Galleries



Ted Cooper, gay news, Washington Blade
Ted Cooper, gay news, Washington Blade

Ted Cooper (Photo courtesy Luis R. Lugo)

Theodore Arthur Cooper died March 19 of colon cancer at his home in central Virginia according to Luis R. Lugo, his partner of 25 years. Cooper was 72. He was previously the director and owner of Adams Davidson Galleries.

Cooper, widely known as “Ted,” was born Feb. 20, 1943, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Arthur Erwin Cooper and Shirley Marion Seltzer. He graduated from Muskingum College, now Muskingum University, in New Concord, Ohio, and moved to Washington in the mid-1960s.

He soon landed a job as a gallery assistant at Adams Davidson Galleries, which had its showroom on P Street, N.W., in Georgetown. Cooper bought the gallery from its founders and spent the next four decades acquiring and selling premium 19th- and early 20th-century American and European art by leading painters and sculptors.

Cooper authored and published about 20 catalogs on American art for exhibitions held at the gallery until the early 1990s. Cooper then became a private dealer and appraiser working from his home in Washington.

He met Lugo in 1977 and a decade later they rekindled their friendship. When Cooper closed his showroom and offices in Georgetown in 1993 and began to reconfigure the gallery’s direction and scope, Lugo often collaborated with him on various projects including assisting when Cooper, as a visiting lecturer at George Washington University, presented a lecture series on the nuances of valuing art. One of his last appraisals, in late 2012, involved an obscure work by Auguste Renoir that had been missing from the Baltimore Museum of Art before emerging in a disputed ownership claim that eventually restored the work to the museum.

During the course of his career, Cooper established strong ties to many local and national public and private galleries and museums, notably the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and developed close bonds with many New York art dealers as well as with countless private collectors in the U.S. and abroad. He was a certified appraiser of the Appraisers Association of America, an accredited senior appraiser and local president of the American Society of Appraisers, a senior member of the International Institute of Valuers, a member of La Confédération International des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art, a member of the Art Dealers Association of America, and a board member of the Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington from its inception in 1981, which he co-founded with fellow art dealers Jane Haslem, Ramon Osuna and Jack Rasmussen and twice served as its president. He was an early supporter of the Human Rights Campaign.

In 1980, Cooper built a home on a precipice at the Wintergreen resort situated in the Blue Ridge Mountain range in central Virginia, where he lived full-time since 2013. In February 2014, he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy for five months until the cancer was in remission. But by December, the cancer had returned and he was soon in hospice care at his home.

In addition to Lugo, Cooper is survived by two sisters, Leigh Cooper Eastman and Laura Cooper Jordan; a brother-in-law, William C. Jordan; three nieces, Marion E. Eastman, Margaret L. Tuma Nazario and Melissa A. Jordan; a nephew, William A. Jordan; and two grandnieces, all of Ohio.



Prince George’s County library system launches banned book club

First discussion to take place in Hyattsville on June 14



(Bigstock photo)

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has launched its Rock Banned Book Club.

The club will feature monthly discussions of the 13 top banned books from 2022, most of which focus on LGBTQ-specific themes. 

The club’s first discussion, which will take place at the Hyattsville Branch Library on June 14, will be on “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. 

Kobabe’s memoir won the 2020 American Library Association Alex Award and recounts Kobabe’s exploration of gender identity and sexuality through adolescence and adulthood. According to the American Library Association, the book faced the most censorship challenges of any novel at 151.

“We’re seeing nationally the highest rate of challenges to books in libraries since the data has been collected by the American Library Association,” Nicholas Brown, acting co-chief executive officer of the library, said. “I think what happens with all of the discourse around book banning is that, oftentimes, not everyone participating in that discourse is actually taking the time to read the full works and discuss them and understand where the author might be coming from and whose stories are being reflected in these books.”

Along with the book club, the library system is hosting a Pride celebration at the Hyattsville branch on Saturday from 12 – 4 p.m. It will feature a panel discussion, vogue and runway workshops, free HIV testing and more. 

The library system will host its second annual Rainbow Festival on June 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bowie Branch Library with family-friendly events like craft stations, story time and a live DJ. In April, the library system won a Top Innovator Award from the Urban Libraries Council for its banned books campaign.

“I think a lot of folks don’t always realize that your local public library is kind of the front line of democracy and we always have been,” Brown said. “Public libraries across the country are very united on this and if the right to read continues to be under threat like it’s been, it is not a good time for the state of our democracy.”

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District of Columbia

Bowser: No credible threats to D.C. Pride events

Mayor spoke with the Blade after flag-raising ceremony at the Wilson Building



D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the flag-raising of the Progress Pride flag at the Wilson Building in D.C. on June 1, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday said authorities have not received any credible threats to upcoming Pride events.

“We don’t have any to report,” she told the Washington Blade.

“MPD is constantly working with all of our agencies to make sure we have safe special events and we’re going to keep going with our planning, like we do every year,” added Bowser. “There’s always a scan for any threats to the District.”

Bowser spoke with the Blade after she joined D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Council members Anita Bonds, Charles Allen, Kenyon McDuffie and Zachary Parker, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, D.C. Mayor’s LGBTQ Affairs Office Director Japer Bowles and other officials and activists in raising the Progress Pride flag in front of the Wilson Building.

The Blade last month reported D.C. police are investigating a bomb threat a Twitter user made against the annual District Pride concert that will take place at the Lincoln Theater on June 29. Bowles in a May 19 statement said his office reported the tweet, but further stressed that “no credible threat at this time has been made.”

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Moore issues Pride month proclamation

Governor on May 3 signed Trans Health Equity Act



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Thursday proclaimed June as Pride month in recognition of  “the contributions, resilience, courage and joy of LGBTQIA+ Marylanders,” according to a press release.

“In Maryland, we lead with love and inclusion. I want everyone in our LGBTQIA+ community to know that they deserve to be seen for who they are, and our administration will stand with them in the fight for equality and equity,” Moore said. “We need to elevate the stories, embrace the courage, and celebrate the humanity of our LGBTQIA+ community — and as long as I am governor, we will take the steps forward to protect and celebrate all Marylanders.”

Moore on March 31 became the first governor in Maryland history to recognize the Transgender Day of Visibility and last month he signed into law the Trans Health Equity Act into law, which requires Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for gender-affirming care beginning next year.

“This month is a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of the queer community, but it’s also a time to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting LGBTQIA+ Marylanders and continuing to fight against hatred, discrimination, and bigotry,” Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller said in the same press release that Moore’s office released. “LGBTQIA+ Marylanders deserve to be who they are, to live their pride — without fear or having to hide. This administration will always stand alongside and protect the rights of all Marylanders.”

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