Constantine Raitzky, 78, who designed exhibitions for the American History Museum and was the former exhibition designer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, died June 29 of lung cancer at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Va. He lived in Reston, Va.
Mr. Raitzky began working for the Smithsonian as a freelance designer in the late 1970s and prepared a traveling exhibition, “The Clockwork Universe,” for MAH in 1980.
He joined the museum’s staff in 1985 and helped design many major exhibitions, including “Engines of Change,” about the Industrial Revolution, “Parlor to Politics,” about women’s suffrage, and “Painting by Numbers,” about painting kits often used by children.
He helped design the 1988 traveling exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright in the Realm of Ideas,” shown at museums throughout the country.
He also participated in revisions to the first ladies’ exhibition and in the recent renovation of the museum’s permanent exhibition of musical instruments.
Mr. Raitzky was born in New York and grew up speaking Russian. He was a graduate of the City College of New York and received a second bachelor’s degree from the Pratt Institute in New York.
In the 1950s, he joined the New York office of designer Will Burtin, where he helped prepare exhibit materials for the Upjohn pharmaceutical company and other firms.
Mr. Raitzky helped design the renowned Eastman Kodak Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, which featured multiple exhibits and theaters. He also prepared exhibits for medical conventions.
In the 1960s, Mr. Raitzky spent four years as manager of exhibition design for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He prepared many permanent and temporary exhibitions and helped design the museum’s overall appearance.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Barbara Fisher Raitzky of Reston and Barto, Pa.
Posted: 19 August 2009