Adele Y. Schonbrun


Adele Louise Yanco Schonbrun, 76, died peacefully on Sunday, May 28, 2017, at Windemere Nursing in Oak Bluffs after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

A prolific artist who was skilled in many mediums, she is best known for her work in clay. Several of her sculptures are held in the permanent collection of museums in the U.S., France, and Japan. Her porcelain necktie, titled “T.G.I.F.,” is owned by the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Throughout her career, she continued the mission of her mentor, Paul Soldner, to free ceramics from their traditional function as useful household goods and make them a vehicle for artistic and personal expression.

In addition to her work, she taught ceramics at Berea College in Berea, Ky., Connecticut College in New London, Conn., and Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was also an avid skier and sailor, gourmet cook, and dog lover.

A well-known Island artist, she was represented by Shaw Cramer Gallery, and participated in many benefit shows at both Featherstone and the Field Gallery.

She was born Jan. 30, 1941, in Boston to Helena Zander Yanco and Renauld Theodore Yanco. She graduated from Roslindale High School in 1958. She received a full scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and earned a bachelor of fine art in 1962. She earned a master of fine art degree from Claremont Graduate School at Scripps College in 1965, where she studied ceramics under Paul Soldner.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Stanley Schonbrun of West Tisbury and Port Chester, N.Y., her daughters Heather (Charles) Klinck of Union Springs, Ala., and Serena (Tim) Connelly of Pelham, N.Y., her sister Sandy Abrams of Long Beach, Calif., and one grandson, Odin Barnaby Connelly.

As she requested, a brief memorial service will be held on East Beach in Westerly, R.I., where she had spent many happy summers as a child. The service will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017, at 3 pm, rain or shine. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Featherstone Center for the Arts or Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.