Goucher Receives Almost $2.4 Million from Estate of Florence Hochschild Austrian ’10
Release date: March 29, 2010
Goucher College has received almost $2.4 million as an unrestricted gift from the estate of Florence Hochschild Austrian ’10, an artist and active Baltimore community supporter.
Austrian created a number of charitable remainder trusts prior to her death at age 90 in 1979. Funds were to be distributed to the charitable beneficiaries of her trusts — including Goucher College — upon the death of her children, Janet Fisher and Dr. Robert Austrian.
“We are so grateful for Florence Austrian’s generosity and foresight,” said Janet Wiley, Goucher’s vice president for development and alumnae/i affairs. “Goucher has affected the lives of many alumnae/i professionally and personally, and on so many levels. Her gratitude to Goucher will now directly impact our entire college community.”
Austrian was born in Baltimore in 1889 and graduated in 1910 from Goucher College, where she studied chemistry, French literature, sociology, and art history. She later attended the Maryland Institute College of Art to learn from Leon Kroll and John Sloan, a member of the group of New York artists known as “The Eight.”
She was an artist known especially for her oil paintings, which often featured Baltimore street scenes. Her oil and watercolor paintings were exhibited in Baltimore, Washington, New York, and Philadelphia galleries and museums, and she had paintings exhibited in one-woman shows at the Baltimore Museum of Art and at Goucher College.
Austrian was keenly interested in the revitalization of Baltimore and was known locally as the person responsible for the renewal of the Eutaw Place neighborhood where she grew up and lived her whole life.
She participated in many civic and community activities, including serving as a board member of the Mount Royal Improvement Association and the Maryland Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities and as a trustee emeritus of the Peabody Institute. She received an honorary degree from Goucher in 1978 and donated one of her paintings to the college in 1981.
Austrian was the daughter of the department store founder Max Hochschild. The family moved to a fashionable block of Eutaw Place in the 1890s. In 1915, she and her husband, Dr. Charles R. Austrian, moved to the family home in Eutaw Place.
Her husband was an internist, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, and chief of medicine at Sinai Hospital before his death in 1956. She had a daughter, Janet Fisher, who taught economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and died at age 91 in 2009 and a son, Dr. Robert Austrian, who died in 2007 at age 90. Dr. Robert Austrian was an internationally known expert on the prevention of pneumococcal diseases whose research led to the development of a pneumonia vaccine that has saved countless lives worldwide.
Several of Austrian’s relatives also were Goucher graduates: Her sister Gretchen Hochschild Hutzler was in the Class of 1909; her cousins Mary Kraus Weis and Beatrice Kraus Stern were graduated in 1910 and 1921, respectively; and her niece Bernice Hutzler-Stein was a member of the Class of 1939.
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