Helen Wurdemann; Director of the L.A. Art Assn. for 49 Years

Helen Wurdemann, director of the nonprofit Los Angeles Art Assn. for half a century, died at her Los Angeles home Dec. 12, association officials have announced. She was 85.

Under her direction, the association has promoted new artists and displayed their work, and has provided art education for the community.

A native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Miss Wurdemann lived in Italy during her marriage to Baron Franz Guzzardi in the 1930s.

After his death, she moved to Los Angeles as an art critic for the magazine Art in America. She also wrote about art and music for the now defunct newspaper, the Hollywood Citizen-News, and helped promote the Hollywood Bowl.


Miss Wurdemann became executive secretary of the art association in 1937 and executive director when it was reorganized in 1940. A noted fund-raiser, she moved the association from cramped rented quarters to its own gallery at 825 N. La Cienega Blvd. in the mid ‘60s.

She is survived by a niece, Mary Ellen Armstrong, and a great-nephew and great-niece, James and Angela Armstrong.

The association is planning a memorial meeting in February.