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1927 Catherine 2022

Catherine Lord Benardete

November 22, 1927 — September 3, 2022

Professor Catherine Lord Benardete died early in the morning Saturday, September 3, 2022 at the Nottingham Nursing Home in Syracuse, where she has resided for several years. She was 94. Catherine, who used her maiden name Catherine Lord professionally, had for many years been Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University, where she specialized in Aesthetics.


Catherine was born in Madeira in 1927, the only child of diplomat John Lord and Gwyneth Marjorie Brudenell-Bruce, and was with her parents at a diplomatic post in Austria at the time of the Anschluss. When war broke out, she was sent to England to live for a time with her mother’s relatives, then to Boston to stay with relatives of her father. There, at the age of 18, she completed her secondary education at Winsor School. Upon graduation from Bryn Mawr she was employed by Time magazine, but then resumed her education taking graduate courses, first at Columbia University, then Yale, and finally completing a doctorate at Indiana University in 1959.


She then joined the Philosophy Department at Syracuse University, where she pursued her career. A distinguished scholar, she wrote extensively about esthetic theory and the nature of art. An accomplished teacher, she guided generations of graduate and undergraduate students, including many art students, in their reflections about the nature and importance of art.


She met her husband-to-be José Benardete when he joined the department a year after her arrival. Soon they were married, and they remained a devoted couple until his death in 2016. She is survived by her brother-in-law Diego Benardete.


Catherine had, understandably, a life-long interest in international affairs, but her special interest was in poetry. She was also an avid fisherman. Catherine had from childhood suffered from the crippling effects of osteomyelitis, but did not allow that to deter her from fishing from her special lightweight canoe any more than  she allowed it to interfere with her professional accomplishments.

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