Jean R. Berman, 96

Artist, philanthropist

April 13, 2007

Jean R. Berman, an artist and philanthropist who endowed a Baltimore Museum of Art gallery, died of a stroke Sunday at her Bal Harbour, Fla., home. The former Pikesville resident was 96.

Born and raised in East Baltimore, the former Jean Roll was a 1928 Eastern High School graduate. In 1933, she married Allan Lake Berman, who owned a Baltimore Street loan company and jewelry business.

Mrs. Berman worked in chiseled stone and studied sculpture with artist Freda Sohn. She also worked in fiber arts.

Mrs. Berman endowed a textile gallery and annual lecture at Baltimore Museum of Art. She also contributed to the Kreiger-Schecter School at the Chizuk Amuno Congregation. When her husband died in 1977, she donated an entry gate for the Arlington Cemetery on Rogers Avenue.

She also set up a Real Estate Institute at the Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School. She underwrote the auditorium and the lobby at the school's downtown center on Charles Street. One of her stone sculptures stands in its lobby.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Arlington Cemetery, 4300 N. Rogers Ave.

Survivors include two sons, Irwin Berman of Jupiter, Fla., and Leslie Berman of North Miami Beach, Fla.; a sister, Esther Nicolaus of Miami Beach, Fla.; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. A son, Richard Berman, died in 2004.

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