News has come of the death this week in Chicago of Frank Yurco. As
many of you know, Frank had been suffering from [omitted due to HIPPA regulations].
Frank's contributions to Egyptology are well known though his
publications and his presence at conferences and meetings. Perhaps
not as well known outside Chicago is his dedication to the public
education mission of the Oriental Institute. For a generation, he
taught an extremely popular cycle of evening and Saturday classes on
ancient Egypt. His enthusiastic engagement with a wide variety of
popular understandings of Egypt gained him a broad and well-deserved
respect both inside and outside mainstream Egyptology.
This follows the recent death of another Egyptologist, James Romano of the Brooklyn Museum. This obit was carried by the NY Times on 16 August 2003.
James F. Romano, a longtime curator at the Brooklyn Museum of Art who
recently finished the reinstallation of the museum's famed Egyptian
collection, died on Monday morning in Lynbrook, N.Y., when the car he was
driving veered off the road and hit a metal fence. He was 56 and lived in
the nearby town of East Rockaway.
He was alone in the car, the Nassau County Police Department said.
Mr. Romano, a scholar in the field of Egyptology, joined the museum's
department of Egyptian, classical and Middle Eastern art in 1976 and was
appointed curator in 1988. Earlier this year, he completed the second and
final stage of the reinstallation, an ambitious undertaking that was more
than a decade in the planning. (The first stage opened in 1993.)
Mr. Romano was a specialist in the sculpture, reliefs and minor phases of
Egyptian art of the 18th dynasty as well as of the Old Kingdom.
One of Mr. Romano's most recent publications was "In the Fullness of Time:
Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from American Collections" (2002), a catalog
accompanying a show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Willamette University in
Salem, Ore. He was also the author or co-author of articles in scholarly
Richard A. Fazzini, chairman of Mr. Romano's department at the museum,
said that Mr. Romano did the first really detailed study of images of a
deity known as Bes an important part of religious iconography in Pharaonic
Egypt tracing how those images changed over time.
James Frank Romano was born on April 12, 1947, in Far Rockaway, Queens,
and grew up in nearby Hewlett. He graduated from State University of New
York at Binghamton in 1969 and received M.A. and Ph.D degrees in ancient
Near Eastern and Egyptian art and archaeology from the Institute of Fine
Arts at New York University.
Mr. Romano is survived by his wife, Diana Craig Patch, an assistant
curator in the department of Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum; a
daughter, Julia; and a son from a previous marriage, Michael James Romano
White of Washington.
Dr. Romano was, by all accounts, a first-rate Egyptologist, husband, father, and friend.