Thursday, July 6, 2017

In Memory of Siti Latifah Herawati Diah (1917 – 2016), Patron of the Arts

(lots #051 - 053)

In late memory of Bu Siti Latifah Herawati Diah (1917 - 2016).
Image source:

Journalist and publisher Herawati Diah was known as avid patron of the arts, particularly for her role in the establishment of the Mitra Budaya Foundation in 1967. The Foundation raised funds and encouraged the Indonesian government to ask for UNESCO’s assistance to restore the Borobudur.

Born in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung, on April 3, 1917, she attended the Europeesche Lagere School in Jakarta and went to the American High School in Tokyo. She graduated from Barnard College in 1941, becoming the first Indonesian woman to graduate from a university in the United States.

Balinese Wedding Couple. 1990, oil on canvas (108cm x 80cm), Djaja Tjandra Kirana. Signed and dated in lower right: "Djaja Tjandra Kirana Bali 90". (Lot #051)

Upon her return to Indonesia in 1942, Herawati worked as a freelance reporter for the United Press International news wire, and later joined the Hosokyoku radio service. Later that year, he married Burhanuddin Muhammad Diah, a journalist at the Asia Raya newspaper.

Not long after the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence in 1945, BM Diah published the Harian Merdeka daily. Together, they published the Keluarga magazine in 1952. They also published the Indonesian Observer English newspaper, which was published and distributed for the first time during the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, West Java in 1955.

Flowers. 1980, oil on canvas (55cm x 65cm), Sri Yunnah. Signed and dated in lower left: "Sri Yunnah 1980". (Lot #052)

As she neared the age of 90, she established the Lingkar Budaya Indonesia foundation along with her friends. An active community and institution, it aims to preserve traditional Indonesian culture through art fairs (pementasan seni-budaya) and active intellectual discussions.

She passed away on at the age of 99 on September 30, 2016. Even just months before her death, she continued to be an avid supporter of the arts, often seen attending musical and theatrical performances in Jakarta.

Women Going to the Market. 1990, oil on canvas (80cm x 120cm), Diany Asmina Sinung. Signed and dated in lower right: "Diany '90". (Lot #053)

Three paintings from her collection (lots #051 - 053 ) are offered in this auction. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Yayasan Bina Carita, a foundation that Herawati Diah established to help children of need in Indonesia.

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