Nathalie Weisgall

Feb 04, 2020
Nathalie Weisgall

Rockport — Nathalie Weisgall, died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, at her home in Rockport; she was 98 years old. Her son and daughter were with her, and she died peacefully of natural causes.

Nathalie Shulman Weisgall was born in Baltimore, Maryland Nov. 7, 1921, the daughter of Dr. David Shulman and Bessie Bransky Shulman.

She graduated from Goucher College in 1941, where she studied biology; a gifted artist, she also studied painting and drawing at the Maryland Institute of Art.

In 1942, she married the composer and conductor Hugo Weisgall.

She spent the war years in Baltimore and worked drawing clothing advertisements for department stores, while her husband was stationed with the U.S. Army in Europe. In 1946, she joined him in Prague, where he was military and cultural attaché to the American Embassy, and she worked for the Joint Distribution Committee, assisting children who had survived concentration camps.

She and her husband returned to Baltimore, where they raised their daughter, Deborah, and their son, Jonathan.

Nathalie held research positions at the Wilmer Eye Clinic at Johns Hopkins University. She was also her husband’s muse. She edited his prose; in her beautiful calligraphy, she wrote the words into the orchestra scores of his operas; she arranged sets for productions of his operas, which often featured their own furniture.

She also played the silent role in the premiere of his opera, "The Stronger," and she stole the show.

When the family moved to New York, she became active in arts organizations on Long Island.

In 1997, after her husband’s death, she moved to Rockport full-time; they had been coming to Lincolnville every summer since 1952.

Nathalie became a docent at the Farnsworth Museum, where for many years she enchanted visitors, adults and children alike, with her perceptions and her stories about art and artists. A lover of music, she sat in the same seat at Bay Chamber Concerts since the first season.

Her survivors include Deborah and her husband, Throop Wilder, and their daughter, Charlotte; Jonathan, his wife, Ruth, and their children Alison, Andrew, and Benjamin; and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at Adas Yoshuron, 50 Willow Street, Rockland, Thursday, Feb. 6, at 2:30 p.m.

Interment to follow at the Jewish Cemetery, Ingrahams Hill, Owls Head.

Contributions in her memory may be made to Bay Chamber Concerts, P.O. Box 599, Rockport, ME 04856.

To share a memory or condolence with the Weisgall family, visit their Book of Memories at

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