Rebeccah Blum. Photo: Francis Pike.

Rebeccah Blum, Curator Who Expanded Berlin’s Art Community, Found Dead

Rebeccah Blum, an independent curator based in Berlin who was known there as an ambitious and compassionate supporter of artists, has died at age fifty-three. Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Emma, on social media. Through initiatives like Blum Fine Art Management, a firm she started in 2012, and Satellite Berlin, a platform cofounded with art advisor Kit Schulte in 2014, Blum focused her career on international collaboration. From 2007 to 2012, she directed programming at Aurel Scheibler gallery’s downtown Berlin space, ScheiblerMitte, where she oversaw solo exhibitions by Michel Auder, Anthony Goicolea, and Joe Zucker. Blum also worked as a European ambassador to New York’s David Nolan Gallery and created a translation and editing service, Wordsmith, whose clientele included the Goethe-Institut and the Vitra Design Museum. “Rebeccah wanted to stimulate the general dialogue between art and culture in a meaningful way and to develop new content in collaboration with other areas,” Schulte wrote in the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung. “She was a sincere listener, diplomatic, responsible and reliable, always fully there.”

Blum was found dead last week in the apartment of the British artist Saul Fletcher, whose body was later discovered by police at a garden located two hours north of the German capital. While the circumstances of their deaths remain unconfirmed by authorities, several outlets allege that Fletcher murdered Blum before taking his own life. Fletcher had been based in Berlin for two decades and was reportedly in a relationship with Blum.  

Yesterday morning, three galleries that represented Fletcher at the time of his death—Anton Kern Gallery in New York, Knust Kunz Gallery Editions in Munich, and Grice Bench in Los Angeles—provided Artnews with a joint statement regarding the reports: “We are devastated, appalled, and shocked by the tragic loss of Rebeccah Blum and Saul Fletcher. We are all grief-stricken and confused. We offer our deepest condolences to their families and together are offering our support and help.” Gallerist David Nolan shared a statement today about Blum, whom he met in 2007. “Her natural understanding of art and empathy for the underlying motivations of artists immediately struck me,” he wrote. “We must remember Rebeccah as an amazingly positive presence in our lives—past, present, and future.”

In an Instagram post, Emma Blum described her mother as someone who loved her unconditionally and as an amazing and resourceful cook who often accompanied her on mushroom hunts in the forest. “I love her so much and I miss her so terribly,” she wrote. “She was just by [sic] taken from me, without warning and in such a violent way by one of the people she loved. I can never forgive this and I can never forget this. I want her name to be remembered and nobody else’s.”