Jill Glover, Artist And Creative Director

Jan. 10, 1953 - Jan. 24, 2014
Jill Glover, Artist And Creative Director - Jan. 10, 1953 - Jan. 24, 2014

       Jill Glover, an artist and influential advertising executive and creative director, died on Jan. 24 at home in New York City. She had cancer for three years and had just celebrated her 61st birthday.

       With her husband, William McAllister, Ms. Glover was also a resident of Amagansett, where she kept her horse, Tres Jolie, or T.J., at the Stony Hill Stables and had been a member of the Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm for more than 20 years.

       Ms. Glover was always passionate about art. She began as a photorealist and at the School of Visual Arts in New York City studied with artists such as Chuck Close and Brice Marden. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1974, Ms. Glover went to work later that year as an art teacher at the Emerson School, a private school in New York City. As head of the art department there, she secured a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, its first for an inner city school arts program.

       She left New York to set up a studio in Dallas, where she began a successful painting career, earning several prestigious awards and showing in solo and group exhibits. Her work combined abstract and naturalistic elements, expressing in paint and photography the tensions and beauty in the human body and other biological forms. It was “known for its beauty and for portraying a dynamic between what is emotionally hidden and what is revealed,” her family said.

       After a year as a painting instructor for undergraduates at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she worked as the assistant to the executive creative director at Neiman Marcus in Dallas from 1977 to 1980.

       As a fashion/creative director for Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan from 1980 to 1995, with Marvin Traub, the store chairman and chief executive officer, Ms. Glover was part of an innovative “retail-as-theater” movement in marketing, a new approach marrying show business-style production with the shopping experience, which has spread throughout the retail world. Ms. Glover traveled the world formulating and then producing promotions using international travel as a marketing theme.

       In 1996, she established her own firm, the Glover Group, an advertising and marketing agency that produced award-winning campaigns in all media.

       Among her key clients were the fashion brands Eileen Fisher, Joseph Abboud, and Anne Klein, for which she created the “Significant Women” campaign photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Besides Ms. Leibovitz, Ms. Glover worked with Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, and other noted photographers.

       Ms. Glover also developed materials for the Global Fund for Women’s endowment campaign and for Young Audiences New York, a nonprofit arts education organization.

       Other clients included Estee Lauder, Aveda, Ghurka, and Adrienne Vittadini.

       Her work was particularly known for presenting strong women positively engaged with life and with each other — women like herself, her family said.

       Ms. Glover had rented houses on the East End beginning in the late 1980s — most recently a cottage in Amagansett where she enjoyed a respite from the city and painting in her studio.

       She loved animals, and her life was always filled with them, her husband said — whether deer and wild turkeys, abandoned animals in need of rescue that somehow found their way to her door, or the horses at Stony Hill, where Ms. Glover was a serious student of the equestrian arts.

       She was inspired by the landscapes and beaches of the East End and their light, her husband said, and they not only informed her paintings but served as locations for professional photo shoots. 

       In her own yards, Ms. Glover enjoyed landscape design, sculpting outdoor spaces and crafting gardens, most recently a luxurious wild garden influenced by Piet Oudolf’s plantings along New York City’s High Line.

       She was born in Neptune, N.J., on Jan. 10, 1953, a daughter of John Lembke and the former Lyndell Nadine Brantley. The family lived in Oakhurst, N.J., and, on Long Island, in Westbury and Setauket, while Ms. Glover was growing up, and she attended the Cherry Lane School in Carle Place and Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

       Ms. Glover met her future husband through an online dating site in 2006, and the couple knew within two weeks that they would be together forever, Mr. McAllister said. They married in July 2008 at the cottage in Amagansett, amid gardens Ms. Glover had created.

       Mr. McAllister said his wife “deepened the meaning and possibility of his life.” Among her large circle of family and friends, she will be remembered for her humor and intelligence, and spirited and caring energy, Mr. McAllister said.

       Even throughout her illness, her “indomitable spirit” allowed her to continue to work in her Amagansett studio on both her art and on new advertising campaigns, he said.

       In addition to her husband, Ms. Glover is survived by her father, who lives in Dedham, Mass., and a sister, Susan Dukess, of Sharon, Mass.

       Ms. Glover was cremated, and her ashes will be spread in her Amagansett gardens. Memorials will be held in the spring in New York and in Amagansett.

       Donations have been suggested to an animal rescue group, Cares4Pets, P.O. Box 31942, Philadelphia 19104, or one of two memorial funds to be set up, one through the School of Visual Arts Alumni Society, 209 East 23rd Street, New York 10010, and the other at the Stony Hill Stables, P.O. Box 283, Amagansett 11930, where a scholarship fund in Ms. Glover’s name will enable young equestrians to attend a four-month training program.