Obituary: K. Christie Cure, 1950 - 2024

Christina Voros, Sue Riddle, Alison MacDonald, Katherine Moore, Sarah Ellis, Marguerite White, and Mary Jennings. •

Where does one begin to mark such an ending? On hearing that Christie Cure was gone, all of us who knew and loved her would agree: the island is much poorer today.

To say that Christie contributed so much to the art community on Nantucket is indeed an understatement. Her fierce love of the island, its art, and the people of all ages who created it, was palpable to anyone who came into her orbit.

This infectious love was doled out in so many forms: intimate luncheons in the back garden, her edgy style, her fantastic cooking, her endless literary advice and library, her vast knowledge of film, and her love of the natural beauty of the island. We will remember her salons in the parlor and the Edward Gorey parties. She opened her home for her Bedroom Theater, Pelagic Magic, The Geography of the Mind, poetry readings, and so much more. Her theater was staged in the parlor, pocket doors pulled back to reveal the thirty-some guests, breathless and waiting for what she’d concocted this time, scattered like pillows across her bedroom floor, draped over benches, propping up the doorways.

We can see her in our mind’s eye shucking oysters, crushing olives for tapenade, tending to her exotic plants, smoking filterless cigarettes, and dancing barefoot on the broad wooden planks of her kitchen floor.

She loved music, playing Marianne Faithful and Lucinda Williams endlessly, perhaps a little too loud for her neighbors’ tastes. When Fats Domino went missing during Katrina, she played him constantly. Was he found because of her homage to him?

If you were lucky enough to be her guest, sleeping on the sleigh bed in the parlor, you’d wake up to the muffled noises of her puttering in the kitchen making coffee or cursing at the contractors next door, flinging their shingles back over the fence where they belonged (she was not always pleased by the “progress” on the Island Paradise), top knot of her beautiful hair, in her blood orange kimono catching the light between the leaves under the canopy of trees in her magic garden.

She would often leave the island for long seasons to be with her sister and “Mommy” in Cleveland Seeing her in the street upon her return would be like sighting an elusive bird…” Hi, Darlin'!” its warm call.

Christie was a great listener who knew how to read people, especially young people who she nurtured and encouraged. She was the last of an old Nantucket, the island that once welcomed and nurtured artists; she lived to enable people to find their voices. We honor her because we are confident that the generations she taught…on her own, in her house, free of charge, just because she understood that art is essential to humanity…will keep her flame alive.

Thanks to Christie’s good friends who contributed here: Christina Voros, Sue Riddle, Alison MacDonald, Katherine Moore, Sarah Ellis, Marguerite White, and Mary Jennings.

Celebrate K. Christie Cure's memory on her birthday this Saturday, February 10th, from 5-7 m. at the restaurant Town, 4 East Chestnut Street. 

Edward Gorey illustration
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