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Adalin Wichman

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Adalin Wichman (1922-2013) passed away peacefully at home on March 10 after a brief illness. She was born in Paris, KY daughter of Eugenia Fishback and Milton Stern, who was an ophthalmologist. She was a proud graduate of Henry Clay High School. After graduation Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of KY, she married William Wichman. While he completed his architecture degree and established his firm in Lexington, she taught English, attended graduate school and painted continuously. Adalin was largely a self-taught artist, although she did study under several well-known artists. Her work includes illustrations, portraits and animal paintings, jewelry designs (with the Lexington jeweler Walter Childress) and bronze sculptures. She is known for her work as the advertising director for Keeneland in the 1970s and 1980s when she worked closely with Ted Bassett and the late J.B. Faulconer. In 1971, Mr. Faulconer asked her to sculpt the Eclipse Award for the Thoroughbred Racing Association (the forerunner of the NTRA). She based the sculpture on an 18th century painting of the famous race horse, Eclipse. The first Eclipse awards were given in 1972; they continue to be awarded annually by the NTRA. In recent years she worked closely with her artistic associate Julie Rinaldini who lives in Long Island near the foundry that casts the Eclipse bronzes. Her works are found in private and public collections including: H.R.H Queen Elizabeth, II (England), National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (Saratoga, NY), KY Derby Museum, KY Horse Park, Lucille Markey Cancer Center, Transylvania University Library, Keeneland Association Library, Iroquois Hunt Club, Mr. and Mrs. George Headley, the White House Historical Society (Washington, DC), Sayre School and the National Sporting Library and Museum (Middleburg, VA). She sculpted the bronze bust of Barton W. Stone at the Cane Ridge Site in Bourbon County, KY and the double bronze portrait bust of KY historian Dr. Thomas D. Clark in the Lexington History Museum. She designed and installed the Lexington Public Library’s central hall display which includes a Foucault Pendulum, the world’s largest ceiling clock, her illustrations of famous KY thoroughbreds and jockeys and an award winning terrazzo floor design of North America. She was a member of the National Society for the Arts and Letters, the W.T. Young Library and the Lucille Parker Markey Cancer Center University of KY (Board of Directors), and the Lexington Art League. She won the 2011 Medallion for Intellectual Achievement, University of KY Libraries; the Governor’s Award in the Arts (The Milner Award), and the Hellenic Ideals Award. She is a featured artist in the seminal book Animal and Sporting Artists of America by F. Turner Reuter, Jr. Known for her sense of humor, she was asked once what was the best compliment she received on the Eclipse Award to which she replied, “Someone told me, ‘I dropped it and the tail didn’t break off.’” Her husband passed away in 2000. She is survived by her daughters Adrian of Lexington, Alison of Potomac, MD, and sister Julia of Lexington.

Visitation will be on Thursday March 14 from 5-8pm at Montrose Farm, 3270 Bryan Station Rd., Lexington. There will be a private burial. Instead of flowers, please send donations to The Adalin Wichman Fund in care of the Lexington Public Library Foundation, Inc., 140 East Main Street, Lexington, KY 40507-1318, for the promotion of art exhibition and education in Lexington.

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