Barbara Welch Breder
Barbara Welch Breder
died unexpectedly on Nov. 30, 2020, at home in Iowa City.
Barbara was born on Dec. 10, 1946, in New York City. She received an undergraduate degree from Hunter College and came to Iowa in 1975 to start doctoral work in the University of Iowa Department of Communication Studies.
After completing her degree, she created the department's program for the study of advertising and consumer culture, where she was a beloved teacher and mentor to her students for almost three decades.
Vital to her daily life was her practice of yoga. Barbara was the founder and principal teacher of the Iowa City Yoga Center, where she uplifted and inspired her students, many of whom remained friends with each other and with her for years afterwards.
In the course of her academic life she met and married the German-born artist Hans Breder, founder of the Intermedia and Video Department in UI's School of Art and Art History. They were introduced after one of his MFA students quoted her in his thesis. They became frequent collaborators. In their many decades together, Hans deeply trusted Barbara's intellectual knowledge of the body and the media, and often incorporated her ideas and concepts into important videos, paintings and writings.
Energetic, intense, and present in the full sense of the word, Barbara was a constant touchstone to her friends, and the fulcrum of the genuinely bohemian atmosphere created in the remarkable house, garden and studio she, Hans and two generations of beloved Australian shepherds shared on College Green in Iowa City.
After Hans' death in 2017, Barbara took on the task of promoting his artwork, preparing for the preservation of his legacy in the new UI Stanley Art Museum, as well as arranging for multiple shows, including one planned for February 2021 with the Danziger Gallery in New York.
Barbara is survived by members of her family and countless friends. A memorial service is planned for later in 2021.
Online condolences may be made at www.lensingfuneral.com.