US/ICOMOS is saddened to share the news of the passing of Russell V. Keune, FAIA, F.US/ICOMOS. Russell’s association with US/ICOMOS spanned 50 years. He was a founding member in 1965 and, at the time of his death, was working with US/ICOMOS on a National Park Service funded project to document the international origins of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. His passing on December 3 after a short illness occurred only one week before the US/ICOMOS 50th Anniversary Gala on December 10. The night before the Gala, US/ICOMOS Trustees, Fellows and Laureates gathered at a small dinner where a moment silence in Russell’s honor was led by John Fowler, F.US/ICOMOS. Mr. Fowler had served as Chair of the US/ICOMOS Board of Trustees in the 1990s along-side Russell and was one of many in the organization who can bear witness to both his famous sense of humor and his lasting contributions. The Trustees and members of US/ICOMOS extends their deepest sympathies to Russell’s wife of 47-years, Ingrid Christina Keune and to his son Eric and their family.
It was in the mid-1980s that then-US/ICOMOS President Terry Morton recruited Russell to come work for the organization. Ultimately, Russell would served as Vice President for Programs and, over a six year period of service, would amass a record of accomplishments that remains the pride of US/ICOMOS.
Russell’s first major assignment was to plan the programs for the 1987 ICOMOS General Assembly – the one-every-three-years meeting of the World’s heritage experts. The General Assembly, under the theme “Old Cultures in New Worlds,” attracted over 600 preservation leaders from around the world and remains the largest international undertaking ever conducted by US/ICOMOS. Almost thirty years later, its lasting accomplishments include preparation and adoption of the “Charter for the Conservation of Historic Towns and Urban Areas” (Washington Charter 1987).