Melva Bucksbaum, Art Collector and Curator, Died at 82

  Dead Famous

Dead, Melva Bucksbaum, born in 1933 and died August 16, 2015 of bladder cancer, she was an Art Collector and Curator.

As a 9-year-old in Washington in the early 1940s, Ms. Bucksbaum regularly took the downtown-bound bus from her immigrant parents’ grocery store to escape “into another world” at the National Gallery of Art.

She aspired to be an artist, but when her “hand would never do what the head wanted it to do,” she recalled, she started collecting instead.

Bucksbaum was president of the Des Moines Art Center board in Iowa, where her first husband, Martin Bucksbaum, pioneered shopping centers and real estate investment trusts. He died in 1995.

In New York, she became vice chairwoman of the Whitney Museum of American Art and married Mr. Learsy, a collector of contemporary art, commodities trader, developer and fellow Whitney board member.