Edith Lourie

SHARON — Edith Lourie, 98, a longtime resident of Sharon, died Oct. 23, 2009, in Rye Brook, N.Y. She was the widow of Jacques Lourie.

Mrs. Lourie, a lifelong artist and portrait painter, began her art studies as an adolescent in Vienna, Austria, where she attended the Art League for Students. She continued her studies in Paris, where she was both a student and a professorial assistant at L’Ecole du Louvre, France’s prestigious art school.

She lived and painted in Paris for many years. Following her studies, she became a designer for various fashion houses, among them Madame Gres and the House of Lanvin. She began painting portraits as a hobby and created dozens of portraits of fashion industry insiders.

After her marriage in Paris, Mrs. Lourie moved to New York City and continued her painting and design career. She painted for the Greene Gallery in Maine. In New York, she painted at the National Academy of Design and painted portraits for private clients. She was represented by the Paris-New York Gallery in Kent. She exhibited at the Kent Art Association, the Paris-New York Gallery, the National Arts Club and several other U.S. venues. She was represented by Bachelier in Paris.

Her portraits are included in several major private collections in the United States and in Europe. Her work can be viewed at the APF Gallery in Manhattan.

An accomplished skier, Mrs. Lourie, together with her husband, Jacques, was instrumental in bringing the Austrian ski teacher Hannes Schneider to North Conway, N.H., in the late 1940s. Schneider taught and brought the Arlberg method of Alpine skiing to the United States. In addition, Mrs. Lourie, together with the Austrian Olympic skiers Toni Matt and Stein Erickson, skied down the Headwall of Tuckerman’s Ravine in New Hampshire for a charitable event.

Mrs. Lourie spoke six languages fluently and traveled extensively. For the last 20 years, she would spend the month of January in Florence, Italy, at her cherished Hotel Tornabuone, revisiting the Italian classic painters who so influenced the portraits she executed.

She was a member of the National Arts Club, the American Portrait Society, the Cercle Interallie in Paris and the Sharon Country Club. She maintained a studio in Greenwich, Conn., and belonged to the Greenwich Arts Council, but did not exhibit in Greenwich.

Mrs. Lourie was an avid gardener, spending her summers in northwestern Connecticut, where she assiduously planted and maintained a multi-acre preserve of perennials. She was a vehement proponent of perennial plants and wildflowers as examples of nature’s ability to self-renew, propagate and accommodate itself to the surrounding climates.

She is survived by two children, Janine Jaboulay of Richmond, Va., and Roger Lourie of Greenwich; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial tribute will be held in Greenwich on Sunday, Dec. 6.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Seagrace Foundation for Burned Children in Greenwich. The Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home in Greenwich has care of arrangements.

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