SECAUCUS, N.J.–Ann Skidmore, founder of tabletop company Arte Italica, passed away June 18 from lung cancer. She was 64.
Skidmore founded Arte Italica in 1998 in order to celebrate the craftsmanship of Italian artisans, especially those crafting Italian pewter. Starting out in Skidmore’s garage in California, Arte Italica grew quickly and relocated to New York. Skidmore steered the dinnerware industry in a new direction by combining Italian pewter with ceramic to create the company’s best-selling collection, Tuscan. The company developed many other successful collections combining pewter with other materials such as handmade glass and slate.
“Ann was one of the most extraordinary people that I have met or worked with in this industry,” said Arte Italica President Chris Collins. “Her creativity, passion and vision were what made Arte Italica such a special and well respected brand. However, it was her class, her warmth and her love for her company, her customers and all of the people around her that made her such a unique and special individual. She has left a lasting impression on all that came in contact with her and her legacy will live on through Arte Italica.”
Skidmore is survived by her husband, Earl Skidmore, and two children, Jennifer Neeley and Clark Skidmore; her son-in-law Zack Neeley and granddaughters Lola and Amelie Neeley; and her parents, Val and Helen Dean.
A memorial service will be held at St. Raymond Church in Menlo Park, Calif. on Thursday, June 26 at 3:30 p.m. If desired, donations can be made in her honor to the Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org