Michelle Elzay Obituary, Artist, Interior Designer, and Historian, Has Died – Death Cause
- Isabella Mia
Michelle Elzay Obituary, Death – Michelle Elzay, an artist, interior designer, and historian who was dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings, passed away on March 25, 2023 at 12:53 in the morning. Breast cancer that had spread throughout her body ultimately led to her passing. She had reached the age of 49 at that point. Michelle Elzay’s parents, June Lauck Elzay and Michael Elzay, raised her in Sands Point, New York.
She attended Smith College, where she received a degree with honors and met a network of friends who would remain dear to her throughout the rest of her life. At Columbia University, while Michelle was pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree, she met Matthew Brannon, a fellow student and artist, and they soon fell in love. In 2003, they got married. Her artistic approach was concentrated on conceptual portrait pictures; it had an international scope; it was rooted in historical research; and it was grounded in the archive.
Her work stressed the importance of tiny communities that are able to withstand the passage of time and shifting styles by honoring their traditions and working hard to perfect their profession. She filmed the sisterhood of nuns, fencers, falconers, and psychic healers, among other people and activities. Her last series was the result of a ten-year research project that she undertook concurrently with the joint restoration of a house that was built in 1834 in Nantucket.
She found out that a formerly enslaved individual named Essex Boston (1741, manumitted 1769, 1827) had owned the house in the past after conducting significant primary research on the subject. Michelle took photographs of the stuff that was unearthed from the house, even though the majority of the project consists of research and writing. The Smithsonian National Portrait Museum is now hosting a traveling exhibition titled “The Outwin 2022:
American Portraiture Today,” which has her portrait titled “Essex Boston and Family 1.” The island of Nantucket held a special place in Michelle’s heart. Michelle and Matthew made the decision to make Nantucket their permanent residence and divide their time between New York City and the property they had on the island that they had renovated.