Aviva Marilyn Robinson, mother of Abby Kone Robinson, passed away on Sunday afternoon September 23, 2018, right before Sukkot in Michigan. The funeral will be on Wednesday September 26th in Detroit and Abby and Mike will return to Boulder at the weekend. There will probably be a gathering in Aviva’s memory at the Kone Robinson home on Sunday October 6th. More details to follow.
Peace on Aviva’s soul and blessings and strength and comfort to Abby and all of the mourners.
Aviva Marilyn Robinson, 1933 – 2018
Beloved wife of 62 years to Jack Robinson (z”l). Artist, arts supporter and dynamo. Born in Detroit in 1933 to Esther and Abraham Freedman, Aviva graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Art Education. She went on to a career as a professional artist and all-around badass, specializing in two- and three-dimensional watercolor geometric forms on handmade paper. Her work is included in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Chrysler Corporate Headquarters, the Ford Motor Company Executive Offices, IBM Corporate Headquarters, and numerous other corporate and private collections. Her work was shown in 17 one-woman exhibitions.
Aviva was an intrepid and enthusiastic traveler, orchestrating adventures with Jack, their family, and friends old and new. Venturing to The Galápagos Islands, Indonesia, Mongolia, and many other places, she instilled a priceless love of travel and a sense of adventure in her children and grandchildren. She was passionate about environmental conservation, was a spirited and accomplished skier, and enjoyed spending time with Jack and their family in Colorado, beginning in the ‘70s. Aviva was also a gifted and imaginative chef, brilliant hostess, and voracious reader. She loved to spend time in and around the water, enjoyed raising Wheaten terriers, and planned daring camping and hiking trips before the invention of synthetic fabrics.
Her passion for the arts inspired her extensive lifelong support for artists and art institutions. Aviva and Jack purchased their first piece of studio glass in 1971, and went on to build an internationally recognized collection of both established and rising contemporary glass artists. Together they donated a major collection of works and endowed a studio glass collection at the DIA in 1996, now named for them (go visit!). They have also gifted works in glass, jewelry, and other media to the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in Manhattan. After their travel experiences sparked an enthusiasm for the medium, Aviva and Jack developed a deep knowledge and extensive collection of 19th century Central Asian textiles. They later donated most of their collection to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Aviva served as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Institute of Arts, a member of the Board of Directors of the Museum of Arts and Design, and was constantly active with a wide variety of other arts organizations. Aviva and Jack were also generous supporters of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and other philanthropic organizations including the Fresh Air Society’s Camp Tamarack Robinson Pioneer Village.
Her boundless enthusiasm and wicked sense of humor inspired and endeared her to both family and friends. Aviva Robinson was the loving mother of Shelby (Mikel Balogh) Robinson, Dr. Beth (Stephen) Robinson Swartz, and Abigail (Michael Kone) Robinson. She was the cherished Grandmaviva of Jared Robinson Ross, Darya Robinson Ross, Kevin Balogh, Gabriel Balogh, the late Dylan Balogh, Nathan Robinson Swartz (fiancé Elaine Lu), Molly Robinson Swartz, Jonah Robinson Kone, and Ezra Robinson Kone. She was the loving sister of Dr. Lorraine (Stanleigh) Goldberg, and the dear sister-in-law of the late Irwin (the late Mildred) Robinson and Frances (the late Bernard “Bob”) Maggin.