Sunday, April 25, 2021

In Memoriam: Allon Schoener

Gossips learned earlier this month of the death of Allon Schoener. His obituary appeared in the the New York Times on Friday: "Allon Schoener, 95, Dies; Curator Caught in Furor Over 'Harlem' Show." 

What the obituary doesn't mention is that Allon and his wife, Mary, who predeceased him, lived here in Hudson from 1999 to 2010, before moving on to California. They arrived in Hudson from Grafton, Vermont, on the very day, I'm told, that St. Lawrence Cement announced its plans to resume operations in Greenport and Hudson. Allon, as did most of us here at that time, became involved in the fight to prevent the giant cement plant from being built. The picture below is a screen capture from the 2006 film Two Square Miles, which documents Hudson during that time, showing Allon with Sam Pratt at a "Stop the Plant" gathering at TSL.  

Allon was the designing force behind the exhibition Seeing South Bay, conceived and curated by Don Christensen. The exhibition was installed in the main hall at the Hudson Opera House in February 2001. Don recalls, "Allon didn't decide to allow his name to be associated with the South Bay show until minutes before the doors opened for the first time. He went through the exhibition, looked at each item, read each accompanying description and gave his approval to be credited as 'Exhibition Consultant.'" Don further comments, "As it turned out, the design he did for the South Bay show was the last exhibition he was involved with."


  1. We are very sorry to hear about Allon's passing. Allon and Mary were the first people we met when we moved to their block in Hudson in 1999. Among his other civic activities, he founded the Columbia County Futures group which organized many events aimed at helping the residents of our county to see and appreciate the environment and to better understand our local government.

  2. I remember Allon well, from all the gatherings of Friends of Hudson and events to do with the cement plant fight. The South Bay Exhibition was so good, I'll never forget it - and thanks to Don Christiansen for that too. Those were the days.

    1. Believe it or not, Mr. Christensen is still active in issues which are critical to the future of South Bay.

    2. Im not in the least surprised. Just haven't seen him for a long time.

  3. I still have jars of jelly and jam from Allon and Mary's Grafton farms -- as well as tools and hardware supplies (screws and nuts and bolts) that they didn't need when they debunked to LA. Allon and Mary were intellectual bright lights in Hudson when we needed them most.

  4. I am so sorry to learn of Allon's passing. We had many lively Columbia County Futures meetings and events with him. Ninety five. Well done, Allon, and rest in peace.