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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.

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Chaos erupts at Loudoun County school board meeting over trans students rights proposal

Two people arrested, two others injured



(Screen capture from Loudoun County Public Schools public domain)

The Loudoun County School Board abruptly ended its meeting Tuesday as chaos erupted after parents who were against the school district’s implementation of Policy 8040 failed to observe rules regarding disruptions and decorum.

Loudoun Now reports Vice Chair Atoosa Reaser made the motion to curtail public comment about an hour after that portion of the meeting began. A brawl then broke out between members of the public, and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to clear the room. 

Two people were arrested, and two people also suffered minor injuries. The names of those who were taken into custody and injured have not been made public.

The school board resumed its meeting at 6:30 p.m. after it ended the public comment session and deputies cleared the room. The school board entered into closed session to meet with legal counsel and discuss negotiations involving a bid award.

In light of the events that transpired at the school board meeting, a group of LGBTQ groups in neighboring Fairfax County in a statement called upon prominent community members to condemn the anti-transgender hate in Loudoun County.

“A coalition of organizations based in Northern Virginia is calling on local officials … to condemn the rise of anti-LGBTQIA+ hate, in particular animosity towards transgender and gender-expansive students, on display in Loudoun County,” reads the statement 

“In addition, the coalition is asking for the denouncement of support for this hate from other local groups, including the Fairfax County Republican Committee, the Family Foundation of Virginia and the Family Research Council,” it adds. “Finally, the members of these organizations are requesting visible displays of support for LGBTQIA+ students, particularly trans and gender-expansive students, in both words and deeds.”

More than 300 people attended the school board meeting, with many of them opposing Policy 8040 which would allow transgender students to use their preferred name and pronouns regardless of the name and gender in their permanent education record. The proposed policy would also not require them to provide any substantiating evidence.

Parents also expressed their support for Policy 8040 during the public comment session.

They spoke in favor of inclusivity and equality in the Loudoun County School District.

Parents who were against the policy cited the need to respect biology and privacy as their arguments. In addition, some speakers, including former state Sen. Dick Black expressed anger at the previous school year’s events such as the suspension of physical education teacher Tanner Cross after he refused to refer to trans students using their preferred pronouns.  

“The crowd repeatedly cheered public speakers who lashed out at school board members and denounced the plan that would provide bathroom and locker room access based on a student’s gender identity,” WTOP News reports.

Only 51 of the 249 speakers who had signed up for public comment ended up speaking before Reaser’s motion was passed.

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Pride flags vandalized, stolen in Loudoun County town

‘Bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand’



Vandals destroyed or stole several Pride flags that had been displayed at homes in Lovettsville, Va. (Screen capture via WUSA9))

Vandals this week destroyed or stole Pride flags that Lovettsville residents had displayed on their homes.

Calvin Woehrie told WUSA the vandals used a blade to slash the Pride flag that was hanging from his house. The D.C. television station reported the vandals also targeted Woehrie’s neighbors who are a lesbian couple with four children.

The Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office said the vandals damaged five Pride flags from three homes and they stole two more. A spokesperson for the Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office told WUSA the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“I wanted to address events that happened over the weekend, that are deplorable and devastating to the entire community,” said Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine in a letter he sent to town residents on June 16. “Over the weekend, there was destruction of property that specifically targeted our LGBTQ community. To make this even more heinous is that the destruction of property was done during Pride Month. To have property destroyed targeting members of our community is horrible and can be frightening for those targeted.” 

“For the individuals who committed these crimes, know that your bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand,” added Fontaine. “We are working closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and this has also been added as an agenda item for our June 24th Council meeting.”

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, on Saturday described the vandalism as “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Whether someone is voicing an opinion or flying a flag, as Virginians — and as human beings — we must be respectful of one another,” wrote Youngkin in a Facebook post.

“Politicians always seem to be pitting neighbor against neighbor, but I am committed to bringing people together around our shared values, like treating others the same way you want to be treated,” he added. “We must all do better by respecting others’ right to live their lives freely, without being targeted because of who they are.”

WUSA reported Lovettsville residents bought Pride flags to replace the ones that had been vandalized and stolen.

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Transgender man murdered in Va.

EJ Boykin was shot outside Lynchburg store on June 14



EJ Boykin (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Va., on June 14.

The News and Advance, a local newspaper, reported EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store on the city’s Fort Avenue at around 6 p.m. Boykin passed away at Lynchburg General Hospital a short time later.

A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. Authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin’s gender identity.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported Boykin was born and raised in Baltimore and was a student at Morgan State University. The blog said Boykin celebrated his 23rd Birthday on June 10, four days before his murder.

Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement notes Boykin is the fifth trans man reported killed in 2021. HRC notes at least 29 trans or gender non-conforming people are known to have been murdered so far this year.

“The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Cooper. “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”

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