Sunday, August 3, 2003

Jane Hageman, 76, author, decorative arts historian

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mrs. Hageman

Decorative arts historian and author Jane E. Hageman spent the last five years assisting Anita Ellis, director of curatorial affairs and curator of decorative arts of the Cincinnati Art Museum, to create The Cincinnati Wing , which opened in May 2003.

"She recognized the greatness of Cincinnati art long before anyone else did, way back in the '60s," said Ms. Ellis. "Her greatest tribute was (that) she was way ahead of her time. I always looked to her as a mentor and adviser in Cincinnati decorative arts, especially furniture."

She added: "I couldn't be more pleased that she lived to see a dream come true, the Cincinnati Wing opening."

Mrs. Hageman died last Sunday at the Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. She was 76. She was born in 1926 to Charles and Jane Eha of Hyde Park and graduated from Hillsdale High School (now Seven Hills) in 1944. She studied art history at University of Cincinnati.

In 1946 she married Dr. Clayton R. Sikes and they lived in Atlanta and Washington D.C before returning Cincinnati in 1954.

In the late 1960s, Mrs. Hageman began researching early Cincinnati's furniture manufacturing industry. What she thought would be a two-month research project took more than 30 years.

Before her research, it was the consensus among decorative arts professionals and antique dealers that Cincinnati imported furniture from such cities as Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

Mrs. Hageman found that Cincinnati was a major furniture-making center in the early to middle 19th century and wrote her first book in 1976. She also lectured for such organizations as the Women's Association of the Cincinnati Historical Society.

Her work "became a lifetime passion for my mother that took her thousands of miles over the blue highways of Ohio researching the history of our regional decorative arts tradition," said her son Reid of Clifton.

She became involved in the Miami Purchase Association and the Antiques Festival. In 1972, she assembled the first known display of Ohio furniture.

In 1975, she was appointed chairwoman of the Permanent Furnishings Collection of Miami Purchase Association Sharon Woods Village.She and her committee collected furnishings for the Sharon Woods Village buildings.

She divorced and later married Edward Hageman, a graphic artist, from Dayton, Ohio., in 1984. The couple formed a statewide organization, The Ohio Historical Decorative Arts Association. He designed her books, Ohio Furniture Makers, 1790-1845,Ohio Furniture Makers, 1790-1860 and Ohio Pioneer Artists: A Pictorial Review.

Mrs. Hageman was preceded in death by her husband Edward and a brother, Charles Eha.

In addition to her son, her survivors include three daughters, Nan Witten of Anderson Township, Lane Merten of Terrace Park, and Megan Rachford of Highland Heights, Ky; and 11 grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Memorials: Historic Southwest Ohio (Sharon Woods), P. O. Box 62475, Cincinnati, 45262; Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, 45242-5613 or a charity of the donor's choice.

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