Philadelphia was culturally conservative, and Mrs. Yusem wanted to expose the city to a "really modern cultural vibe," said her daughter Elizabeth Fuerst.
The Arts Council promoted artists such as Andy Warhol as well as experimental theater and dance, Fuerst said.
"They really rocked the town," she said.
Mrs. Yusem and her family moved from Merion to Society Hill in the mid-1960s, and most recently she lived at the Philadelphian, near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In 1975, she worked as a researcher for the first exhibit of the National Museum of American Jewish History. Mrs. Yusem served as chairwoman for exhibits at the museum for more than a decade.
From 1968 to 1972, she served on the Penn board of alumni.
Mrs. Yusem and her husband loved traveling to exotic locales, especially when they were newly opened to Western tourists, such as China after President Richard M. Nixon's famous visit, her daughter said.
"We were always scared - 'Don't go there!' - but they were intrepid," Fuerst said. "My parents were fun people."
Mrs. Yusem's husband died in 2010.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by another daughter, Patricia Yusem Herman; a son, Stuart; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A son, Richard, died last year.
A service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at Joseph Levine & Sons, 4737 Street Rd., Trevose.
Donations may be made in Mrs. Yusem's name to the National Museum of American Jewish History. Information: www.nmajh.org/TributeGift/.
Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.