We are hosting a benefit to fund a cure for COPD, in the gallery next Friday.
"A Memorial Tribute to Birthe Andersen "
Friday, August 7 thru Wednesday, August 19
Birthe Andersen was born in Copenhagen in 1934, the daughter of a cabinet minister in the Danish government named (really!) Hans Christian Andersen. When the Nazis invaded, her father fled to England with the other government officials and Birthe spent most of those years on a farm in the countryside with her grandmother, who introduced her to needlepoint largely as a distraction from the terrible living conditions: little fuel for heat, not enough food to eat.
After the war ended, Birthe finished her education at the Sorbonne in Paris, married a young Danish engineer and moved to South Africa. He was killed in an auto accident and the bereaved young widow returned to her parents’ home in Copenhagen.
To ease her grief, she resumed needlepoint work and discovered that she had an unusual talent.
For the next several years, she traveled the world as an advocate for Danish export products, including lengthy assignments at World’s Fairs in New York, Osaka and Montreal. All the while her devotion to needlepoint art continued to grow, and she ultimately decided to settle in Toronto and launch a business. She became a hugely successful needlepoint teacher and innovator, well known among the practitioners of this ancient art form around the world.
Twenty years ago, she remarried – to Charles Cacciatore, a retired businessman living in Boynton Beach – and moved to South Florida. Quickly bored with only a social life to occupy her time and energy, she opened a needlepoint studio and shop and resumed teaching and creating art works. When her second husband died in 2010, Birthe moved to Palm Beach and transferred the business, In Stitches, to a location in Greenacres. The collection to be shown is made up entirely of works that she kept for her own personal pleasure, along with a few loaned by friends who had received them as gifts.
Birthe died on April 12 this year, finally succumbing to a lifelong lung ailment that originated in the wartime deprivations of her childhood. All proceeds of the exhibit and sale of her art will be donated in her name to organizations dedicated to seeking a cure for COPD.