This is a version of the obituary that appeared in The Daily Telegraph by PAUL LEVY
Eva Yvonne Chadwick, who has died aged 85, was known for her astute management of the estate of her late husband, the celebrated sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003), whose saleroom prices she saw rise to a record $3.5 million in 2018. But her own story was riveting. Born in Paris on February 12 1934; she was taken to Budapest; fled in 1948; was sent to England; hoped to study law; met and married Chadwick; became the chatelaine of his Gloucestershire country house Lypiatt Park; qualified as a Jungian analyst in 2004; and learned that the woman she regarded as an aunt was actually her mother.
Given the French name Yvonne by her parents, Erika Agnes (née Lissewski) and Istvan Gabor Reiner, she never discovered why her parents were living in Paris, and was always called by her Hungarian name, Éva. They took her back to Budapest as an infant. As a child, she joined the Communist Young Pioneers; though the family were Jewish, they escaped deportation and the camps until the German occupation. Her father, Istvan Reiner (1911-1944) perished in the Holocaust, but her mother, Erika (b.1909), despite claiming to be her aunt “Nanie,” was back in regular contact with Eva and her family until she died in the new millennium. In a rare autobiographical jotting, Eva wrote that she “lived with [great-aunt] Zsazsa (b. 1905) until a brief spell with my mother and her new husband during the siege.” The Siege of Budapest lasted from Christmas Eve 1944 to February 13 1945; she, Zsazsa and the aunt’s son, Robi, “were hidden in a cellar in Buda. When the Russians ‘liberated’ us I went back to Zsazsa and lived with them, until I was 13.” Excited by seeing the Russian soldiers, “We all ran to get our lipsticks,” she told a friend. She was also a remarkable swimmer, chosen to train with a Hungarian female Olympic swimming champion when she was 12. As her mother seemed incapable of nurturing her, the young Eva was sent to Paris to stay briefly with her uncle Gabriel (Gabor b. 1897), an itinerant violinist who had a stall in the flea market at Clignancourt. After a fortnight, having reclaimed her French nationality, uncle Gabi put her on the boat train for England, where she was taken in by “a very distant aunt,” Klari, and attended school in Woodford Green; “I ran away to London at 16,” she wrote, “I [had] tried at 15, but was sent back to the house in the suburbs.”
Although she says she then “had many adventures,” little can be documented about her next 15 years. At some point, hoping to fund her legal studies, she started a mail-order business supplying the net curtains every English house had to have. Rumours were heard that she was managing a Spanish bull-fighter; but an undated fragment of a newspaper cutting with the dateline “Madrid, Saturday” begins: “A beautiful Hungarian refugee who came to England in 1948, was today stranded in Madrid, penniless, her car impounded. Dark-haired Eva Reiner, a former London barrister’s secretary, has been interrogated for four days by Spanish detectives investigating ‘Sunshine Villas,’ a Summer villa company for British tourists in Southern Spain.” Family lore says she also worked as assistant to a magician who specialised in sawing young beauties in half.
Chadwick married his first wife, Ann Secord, in 1942, and they had a son, Simon. Following their divorce he married Frances Jamieson in 1959, and together they bought the dilapidated Lypiatt Park in Gloucestershire, a mostly Victorian pile, in the older part of which the Gunpowder Plot was said to have been hatched. Though separated by the time Frances killed herself in 1964, Chadwick was left with their two daughters, the six-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Sophie; and when Eva married him on June 4 1965, she brought up the girls as her own daughters, along with their son Daniel, born that year.
With Lynn, Eva set about renovating Lypiatt Park room by room. There was the sculptural, heated terrazzo dining-table, with the wood-burning stove on the dais in the centre, Lynn’s mobile sculptures, and several rooms familiar from Lord Snowdon’s photographs. Before those, however, there was Eva’s distinctive minimalist/striped cotton renewal of several bedrooms and sitting rooms, the furnishings eked out of poverty. Lypiatt had many regular visitors, and Eva, a brilliant, generous cook, fed them fresh, imaginative dishes, using fish, organic poultry and meat, and the vegetables from the perpetually enlarged organic garden, nourished by 25 years of compost-making. Exotic salad varieties were increased by the seed packets they brought back from their holiday houses near La Garde-Freinet and Plan-de-la-Tour near St-Tropez. Lynn landscaped the park, punctuated with his large sculptures.
Eva took on the business side of the Chadwick empire, gently and tactfully dismantling the contract that left Lynn, like many other artists of his generation, in debt to their dealers, in his case the Marlborough Gallery – with whom he continued to have cordial relations. Eva herself was his de facto dealer, building a network of foreign dealers, curators, galleries and museums, keeping Lynn’s work hugely in demand, even during the periods when he felt neglected by the British art establishment. Lynn disliked bronzes, because they were never of the quality he wished; but she knew that for commercial purposes, the sculptures had to be cast in bronze. To resolve this conflict, Eva urged setting up a foundry in the stable block at Lypiatt in 1971, so that Lynn could have complete control over the production of his work. At first this wasn’t completely satisfactory; but in 1982 Rungwe Kingdon and Claude Koenig joined the Chadwicks, and they understood exactly what it was that Lynn wanted – to the degree that some of the castings are indistinguishable from the originals. Their company, Pangolin Editions, works closely with the Chadwick Estate. Eva was responsible for much of the documentation of Lynn’s work and its publication.
The Chadwicks had a famously open marriage, in which Lynn had a succession of women friends, many of who even came to live at Lypiatt or in France. Eva had a contented liaison with the late Robert Henry Bruce-Gardner, conservator at the Courtauld Gallery, which ended before his own happy marriage in 1979.
Eva began her own Jungian analysis sometime in the early 1990s; she then took a BA at Birkbeck College, London, in 2008, and her MA in Human Psychodynamics, with a thesis entitled “The Emergence of Gold in Alchemy,” continued her training analysis with a Jungian in London, and also at the International Association for Analytical Psychology in Zurich. She did further preparation to become a Jungian analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists in 2004, and became an analytical psychologist registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Following her qualification, she worked as a counsellor in Stroud, and saw clients in London and at Lypiatt.
Eva Chadwick is survived by Sarah, Sophie, Daniel and nine grandchildren.
Eva Yvonne Chadwick (née Reiner) born February 12 1934, died September 7 2019.