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News Release

March 31, 2008


John Sanford, Stanford News Service: (650) 736-2151,

Erika Jardetzky, art historian and longtime campus resident, dies at 78

Erika Jardetzky, a campus resident for the past 33 years, died at her home March 10 after a long illness. She was 78.

Born Erika Albensberg in Vienna on May 16, 1929, she was raised in the Austrian city of Graz, where she attended high school and earned a doctorate in art history from the University of Graz in 1958. Her thesis on medieval stained glass windows of churches in Styria became a standard reference work on the subject. In 1995, she was decorated with the gold honor insignia by the governor of Styria for her contributions to cultural life.

After leaving the University of Graz, she spent two years in Rome as a postdoctoral fellow studying early Christian paintings in the city's catacombs. In the following years, she lived in Germany as a cultural correspondent for Die Welt, writing under the pseudonym of "Ben," and as an editor for the journal Constanze.

In 1975, she married Oleg Jardetzky, now a professor emeritus of molecular pharmacology and director emeritus of the Stanford Magnetic Resonance Laboratory.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three stepsons: Alexander Jardetzky of Los Gatos, Theodore Jardetzky of Stanford and Paul Jardetzky of San Francisco. Private funeral services have been held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to a charity of the donor's choosing.


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