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Item #: OP2792-209
SOUTH TYROL - OR THEREABOUTS. Reprint from The Alpine Journal, Nov. 1934 Fine SIGNED BY Ursula Corning.
By Corning, Ursula
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London, 1934. 14 pp, 8 photos. Reprinted from The Alpine Journal, November 1934. Paper cover; no significant flaws; Fine.

SIGNED BY Ursula Corning

From https://sites.google.com/site/richardangusoftantalloncastle:

URSULA CORNING was born in Basle, Switzerland on the 29th of April 1903. She was an original benefactor of Theater for the New City and maintained a close relationship with the theater until her death. Her charitable works included supporting many New York arts and charitable causes, both personally and through the Vidda Foundation.

She was the daughter of Professor Hanson Kelly Corning, who was a prominent medical anatomist in Europe. He was a member of the Ranieri family, and the Ranieri were Bourbons. Ursula could speak about 6 different languages and although she was not trained as a doctor, she was comfortable in medical surroundings, and when she felt 'lost' as a young adult, wisely followed the advice of friends and took on a career as a medical physical therapist. She was actually an originator in that specialty. Beginning in the 1930s, she worked under a Doctor David Gurewitsch, who treated President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and for the neurological institute of Columbia University Medical Center. She retired from the Center in 1965 but continued to work in Dr. Gurewitsch's office until his death in 1974. Although she never personally treated FDR, she was invited to the White House and dined at Hyde Park.

Ms. Corning worked for the OSS during World War II. She was also an avid mountain climber and member  of The Alpine Club in London. She climbed The Matterhorn. Ursula was also one of the first and foremost female skiers in Europe.



When she worked, you would never know she was a woman of wealth. Once, it is said, she was treating a notable dress designer. Ms. Corning admired one of her patient's designs and mentioned that she would like to order such a dress. The designer politely advised her that it would be beyond her means. Needless to say, Ms. Corning got the dress.

When she first became a funder of Theater for the New City, it was at the time of a play called 'Dracula Sabbat,' which had a lot of nudity. Someone in her circle challenged her, saying that she was supporting 'the most outrageous theater in the City.' She simply smiled and said 'Oh, really.' 

In 1968, Ms. Corning began 35 years of annual summer residencies at the 13th century Civitella Ranieri castle in the Umbria region of Italy where she hosted friends and artists from all over the world, providing an extraordinarily hospitable environment for them to exchange ideas and explore the artistic treasures of central Italy. Following her death, this traditional place of artists' pilgrimage has been reconstituted as The Civitella Ranieri Center and endowed to become a workplace for gifted artists from different disciplines and countries. The Center seeks to enable its Fellows to pursue their work and exchange ideas in this unique and inspiring setting. It is funded by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, a non-profit operating foundation organized under the laws of the State of New York, with offices in New York City.

She was also a generous supporter of Columbia Presbyterian's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and through her Vidda Foundation, she funded the Dessoff Choir for many years. 

Ursula died on March 20, 2002. She was 99.




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