Published: April 14, 2020
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -Noted patron of the arts and philanthropist Anne Bass passed away April 1 following a long illness.
Born Anne Hendricks to father John Wesley Hendricks and Jean (Brown) Hendricks, she studied art history and Italian literature at Vassar College. While there, she met Texas oil billionaire heir Sid Richardson Bass and married in 1965. They would divorce in 1988, leaving her with $200 million, said to be the largest settlement ever in the state of Texas at that time. Bass’ long-time partner since 1993 until her death was painter Julian Lethbridge.
Bass was a prominent art collector and frequent attendee of antiques and art shows in Manhattan and Connecticut, both places where she kept residences. Her sprawling estate in Kent, Conn., reaches 1,000 acres of manicured gardens and historic structures. Her home in Fort Worth, Texas, called The Bass House, is an important commission from architect Paul Rudolph.
Bass’ passion was ballet, an art she devoted much time and attention. She served on the board of trustees of the New York City Ballet and also supported the School of American Ballet.
In New York alone, Bass’ philanthropy benefited the New York Public Library, Museum of Modern Art, New York Botanical Garden and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
In Texas, Bass served as a trustee at the Forth Worth Art Museum. The New York Times noted, “In 1987, as a longtime trustee of the Fort Worth Art Museum, she was blamed for a high institutional turnover: Within a decade, three directors and an interim director had arrived and departed in short order. Even those who admired her exacting standards could be bothered by ‘the Bass body count,’ as Texas Monthly put it, referring to the arts administrators who had failed to cut it in her eyes.”
Bass is survived by her two daughters, Hyatt Anne Bass, an author; and Samantha Sims Bass, a photographer.
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