Evelyne Daitz Dies at 83; Ran a Vital Photography Gallery


Eveline Iris Zoller was born on April 13, 1936, in Dardagny, Switzerland. Her father, Johann August Zoller, was a blacksmith who also managed a kiosk and gas station with her mother, Paulina (Feller) Zoller.

After attending secondary school in Switzerland, Ms. Daitz went to the United States as an au pair. In 1962 she married Howard C. Daitz, a photography dealer and collector. The photographer George Tice, who helped Mr. Witkin establish the Witkin Gallery, said Ms. Daitz had become interested in photography through her husband’s work.

Mr. Forrest, her nephew, said she became a naturalized citizen in 1965, adopting the “Evelyne” spelling of her name then. She became Mr. Witkin’s assistant in 1976, about the time the gallery moved from its original location on East 60th Street to East 57th.

During her eight years in that capacity, the gallery solidified its reputation.

“Everyone senses that the Witkin Gallery stands for an aesthetic position that is distinctly different from the positions of other institutions such as, for instance, the Museum of Modern Art,” Gene Thornton wrote in The Times in April 1984 on the occasion of the gallery’s 15th anniversary. “And many would agree that maintaining this position for 15 years has been the gallery’s greatest achievement.”

Six months later, Mr. Witkin died and Ms. Daitz took over the gallery. She moved it soon after that to SoHo, where many other galleries and artists had gravitated. After closing the gallery in 1999, she continued to represent select photographers, including prominent ones like Manuel Álvarez Bravo.

In addition to her husband and Mr. Forrest, she is survived by several other nieces and nephews.

Mr. Forrest said that along with her photography expertise, Ms. Daitz was known for a fashion habit and a fitness one.

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