Madeleine Chalette Lejwa was an art collector, benefactor and a former dealer in 20th-century European masters. She was born in Paris while her parents were visiting there, and grew up in Poland, where she attended school. In 1938 she rescued her father from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, and they spent World War II in Shanghai, China, before coming to the United States in 1946. She was married in 1947 to Arthur Lejwa, a Polish-born biochemist, and together they became art dealers in the 1950s when they opened the Galerie Chalette on upper Madison Avenue in Manhattan. They specialized in works by Arp, Braque, Chagall, Picasso, Vasarely, and Julio González, and also acquired their own collection, which included many works by Arp that were exhibited in the United States and Australia in a tour that began in 1976. Following her husband's death in 1972, Mrs. Lejwa closed the Galerie Chalette, but continued working as an art consultant to collectors and museums.
The Lejwas donated works from their collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as a sculpture after a design by Arp to the NGA (Oriforme, 1977.22.1). Mrs. Lewja was a patron of the Metropolitan Opera, and a major supporter of New York University's archeological excavation from 1961 to 1990 at Aphrodisias in southwestern Turkey. In 1995 she established a fund to support research in biochemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She died at age 81 on June 7, 1996, at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. [Compiled from sources and references recorded on CMS]