By, Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun
Elisabeth S. Schleussner, a former art and architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun who championed Maryland artists and wrote poetry and fiction, died June 10 from a heart attack at her Sarasota, Fla., home. The former Rodgers Forge resident was 88.
Ms. Schleussner, who wrote under her maiden name, Stevens, was known for her sharp intellect and engaging writing style. In addition to her works of journalism and criticism, she was the author of 20 books of fiction, poetry and drama.
During a career that spanned six decades, she had been art critic for The Sun, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Trenton Times. Her reviews and articles were also published in Art News, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Mademoiselle, LIFE magazine and others.
Jay M. Fisher, deputy director for curatorial affairs at the Baltimore Museum of Art, said that as an art critic, “Betsy stands out as the most experienced when it came to reviewing art because she was an artist herself.
“Even though she had a charming sense of humor and was light-hearted, she was very serious when it came to reviewing art,” Mr. Fisher said. “She was also an art historian and always brought that perspective to her reviews.”
The former Elisabeth Goss Stevens was born in Rome, N.Y. She was the only child of George May Stevens, an advertising executive, and Elisabeth Stryker Stevens, a homemaker.
She was raised in the New York and New Jersey, and graduated in 1947 from Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J.