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Sarah Charlesworth

Sarah Charlesworth, New York, 1982. Photo: Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy.

THE DOOR TO SARAH CHARLESWORTH’S STUDIO—one large room in a modest, single-story office building on the leafy-green main street of Falls Village, Connecticut—is slightly ajar. I’m visiting for the first time since she died unexpectedly on June 25, and I’m a little rattled. I’ve just picked up the key from the kitchen of her unlocked house, where her hairbrush and Chanel lipstick are, as always, next to the sink in the downstairs bathroom.

Everything is peaceful and scented with summer (her favorite season) as I walk the few dozen yards past her garden and down the street to her studio. I notice the spot near the sidewalk where she set up what she affectionately called her “self-portrait scarecrow with crows” for the 2011 Falls Village scarecrow contest. Perhaps she had appreciated that her initials could also stand for Scare-Crow. My daughter and I had driven to the autumn

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