Fer­nanda Zopf

The Bal­ti­more sculp­tor and painter who cre­ated works for lo­cal schools had a sec­ond ca­reer as a real es­tate agent

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Fer­nanda Zopf, an artist who cre­ated sculp­tures for Bal­ti­more schools and ex­hib­ited her paint­ings at gal­leries, died of con­ges­tive heart fail­ure Sept. 5 at Univer­sity of Mary­land St. Joseph Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

The for­mer Tus­cany-Can­ter­bury res­i­dent was 94.

Born Fer­nanda Albi in Ter­amo, Italy, she earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree at the Univer­sity of Naples. She stud­ied paint­ing in Rome, por­trai­ture in Ger­many and had three years of paint­ing study in Canada.

She met her fu­ture hus­band, Oskar Franz “Frank” Zopf, who was then serv­ing in the Ger­man army, dur­ing an army of­fi­cers’ party dur­ing World War II.

The cou­ple mar­ried in Hei­del­berg and later lived in Fon­tainebleau, France. They de­cided to leave Europe and moved to Toronto in 1951.

“Af­ter three years in Canada, they moved to Bal­ti­more, where they would re­main and be­come wo­ven into the fab­ric of the city,” said her daugh­ter, Karen C. Zopf, a Tow­son res­i­dent. “They lived near Hop­kins and en­joyed en­ter­tain­ing in the Tus­cany-Can­ter­bury neigh­bor­hood.”

In1964, Mrs. Zopf earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in fine arts from the Mary­land In­sti­tute Col­lege of Art, where she was awarded a Rein­hart Fel­low­ship and trained as a sculp­tor.

She later re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree at MICA and an­other mas­ter’s in art his­tory from the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity.

Mrs. Zopf set up stu­dios in her home’s base­ment and garage and worked along­side Liz Whit­ney Quis­gard, a fel­low Rein­hart Fel­low­ship awardee.

Mrs. Zopf cre­ated ab­stract sculp­tures for Guil­ford, Wil­liam Pin­der­hughes and Charles Car­roll ele­men­tary schools in the 1970s.

Her sculp­tures and paint­ings were ex­hib­ited at the Bal­ti­more Mu­seum of Art, MICA, Johns Hop­kins, the Fells Point Gallery, the Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, Har­bor­place and the Village of Cross Keys.

“She de­fined her work as con­cep­tual re­al­ism, and she liked to con­vey a world of har­mony, bal­ance and space,” said her daugh­ter, adding that her mother’s can­vases at­tracted nu­mer­ous buy­ers.

“She was not wishy-washy,” she said. “Be­ing a mother and a wife was not enough. She had to ex­press her cre­ativ­ity. ... She was a feisty, fear­less and fash­ion­able per­son.”

She said her mother im­mersed her­self in the city.

In the 1970s, Mrs. Zopf be­gan sell­ing res­i­den­tial real es­tate, and brought groups of women to­gether to buy in­vest­ment prop­er­ties.

“My mother had a good nose for in­vest­ments,” said her daugh­ter. “She was also an eter­nal stu­dent who took and taught classes at the Re­nais­sance In­sti­tute.”

City Coun­cil mem­ber Mary Pat Clarke, a for­mer neigh­bor of Mrs. Zopf’s, called her a “joy­ful per­son who brought friend­ship and pos­i­tive vibes into ev­ery oc­ca­sion.” “She was a great friend to my whole fam­ily,” Mrs. Clarke said. “In ad­di­tion to be­ing a won­der­ful artist, when she went into the real es­tate busi­ness, she helped me when I briefly had a real es­tate li­cense. But I could never live up to her stan­dards.”

Her hus­band of nearly 46 years, a re­tired struc­tural en­gi­neer at the old Van Rens­se­lear P. Saxe firm, died in 1993.

Mrs. Zopf reg­u­larly vis­ited Europe to visit fam­ily mem­bers. She also made trips to Costa Rica, Scotland and Tur­key. She was also a film buff and en­joyed read­ing bi­ogra­phies of women.

Mrs. Zopf moved to the Winthrop House apart­ments af­ter re­sid­ing on Clover­hill Road for many years. She most re­cently resided at Mercy Ridge in Timonium.

A life cel­e­bra­tion will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thurs­day at Peace­ful Al­ter­na­tives Fu­neral and Cre­ma­tion Cen­ter, 2325 York Road in Timonium.

In ad­di­tion to her daugh­ter, sur­vivors in­clude a grand­daugh­ter, Floret Mered­ith; and nieces and neph­ews. Fer­nanda Zopf “liked to con­vey a world of har­mony, bal­ance and space” in her art, her daugh­ter said.

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