Bernardo and Johanna Mendel Graduate Fellowship
Johanna Lenz Mendel was born and educated in Vienna, where she also received training in voice. In 1922 she married her sometime accompanist, Bernardo Mendel. Their daughter, Eva, was born in 1933 in Bogotá, Colombia where Mr. Mendel had moved his export business in 1928. During their Colombian residency, Mr. Mendel founded a Society of the Friends of Music through which the Mendels met many distinguished international performers whom they entertained in their home.
The Mendels moved to New York City in the early 1950s, a business move abetted by Mr. Mendel's acquisition of the Lathrop C. Harper antiquarian book establishment: he had been a serious book collector for many years. The Lilly Library became interested in his Spanish colonial empire collection, which it acquired in 1961. It was the Lilly Library that initially drew the Mendels to Bloomington, where they rented an apartment for use during their visits. Mr. Mendel died in 1967.
Although Mrs. Mendel knew very few people when she moved to Bloomington permanently in 1971, her interests in music and the Mendel Collection in the Lilly Library, and her magnetic personality, led to an ever-expanding circle of friends. She became a board member of the Friends of Music at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Until late in life, Mrs. Mendel was a world traveler and regular attendant at IU Auditorium travel films.
Mrs. Mendel was a philanthropist; she contributed generously to the Lilly Library, the IU Jacobs School of Music, and student scholarships. Upon her death in 1997 at 102 years of age, Mrs. Mendel established the Bernardo and Johanna Mendel Graduate Scholarship for graduate students in voice.