Margaret E. Lethen, artist and scholar, died at age 94 on July 09 in Wilmington after a long struggle with serious illness. A woman of many achievements, she held an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and both an MA and PhD in Ancient History/Philology from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a scholarship from the Rackham Graduate School of History and served as curator of maps and manuscripts at Clements Library. She was an officer in the U of Michigan Graduate Historical Society from 1946-1953, five of those years as President. In 1954 she won a Fulbright for a year’s study at the University of Athens, Greece. She became a full time artist and painter while living in the Greek islands after her studies, returning to Wilmington in the 1970s. She then taught in the art department at the University of Delaware for several years, receiving recognition for her Lucite sculptures exploring refracted light and color. In 2010 one of her island-influenced paintings was one of the winners in a prestigious competition launched by First Street Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea district.
Margaret was the last surviving child of Arthur and Margaret Larson of Wilmington. She is pre-deceased by brothers John Arthur, William Randoph, Paul Edward, and sister Grace Larson Chickering; also by best friends artist Grete Backe Steen of Wilmington, DE and Professor Helen Preiss of Newark, DE. She leaves behind two nieces, Cathy Larson Sky and Karen Larson Pare; two nephews, John Arthur Larson, Jr. and Nick Larson; and a cousin, Susanne Larson, as well as many great and great-great nieces and nephews. She will also be missed by her former husband, Richard Lethen and her sister-in-law Katherine Clark. Margaret inspired many with her intelligence, warmth, and talent. Her family is planning a private celebration of Margaret’s life. Donations in Margaret’s name may be directed to https://mykonosanimals.org/