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Frances Holden; Studied Psychology of Genius

August 25, 1996

Frances Holden, 97, who studied the psychology of genius, particularly that of classical musicians. A native of New York City, she was educated at Smith College and Columbia University. Holden was the first woman appointed to the psychology faculty at New York University, where she taught for 12 years. During her research, she befriended German soprano Lotte Lehmann. After Lehmann was widowed in 1939, the soprano shared Holden's Santa Barbara home until her death in 1976. The two women christened the home Orplid for a dream island retreat described in "Gesang Weylas" by Hugo Wolf. They played host to internationally celebrated musicians including Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Thomas Mann, Rise Stevens, Dame Judith Anderson and Marilyn Horne. Holden was a major fund-raiser for the UC Santa Barbara Library and was active in the Music Academy of the West in Montecito. On Aug. 10 in Santa Barbara.

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