Isabel Bader, staunch supporter of the arts, passes away at age 95

Isabel Bader with her husband Alfred Bader. Photo supplied by Queen’s University.

Isabel Overton Bader, a noted supporter of history and the arts, has passed away at age 95. Together with her husband Alfred, who predeceased her in 2018, the pair were by far Queen’s University’s most generous benefactors.

Bader passed away on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in Milwaukee, after a full life of teaching, conservation and advocacy work, and appreciation of the performing arts. She and her husband may be best known in the Queen’s and Kingston community, however, as strong patrons of arts, with gifts to Queen’s including paintings by Rembrandt, Herstmonceux Castle in England (known as the Bader International Study Centre), and the stunning Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Together they also endowed chairs and created numerous bursaries and awards at Queen’s to advance education and research.

A tribute from Queen’s University outlines Bader’s life and her contributions to Queen’s over many decades. In his message of condolence, Queen’s Principal Patrick Deane said, “Queen’s was very fortunate to have been one of Isabel’s priorities. She was so proud to be able to support the new home for The Bader Collection and the revitalization of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and until the end of her life maintained a fond and active interest in Bader College at Herstmonceux Castle, its community, and its promise.”

“To have known Isabel – in all her warmth, gentleness, wit, and acuity – I will number among the great privileges of my life,” Deane continued. “She was a gentle soul who delighted in seeing students thrive and discover their own potential through the arts. I will remember her as indomitably humane.” 

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