GABRIELLE ANN DEARBORN

Gabrielle Dearborn, a resident of Westport for 50 years, died unexpectedly on March 19, 2010, of a heart attack. She was just shy of her 94th birthday.

Born in Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1916, she grew up in London and in Hampshire, and was strongly influenced by her mother, an accomplished painter.

From 1936 to 1939, she studied art in London, at the Byam Shaw School and the Central School of Art.

During World War II, she drew aerial maps for "Combined Operations," a part of the Allied government; then worked in the Office of War Information (OWI), for which she created publicity art work. It was there that she met her husband, Hamilton, an American economist with the O.S.S.

At war's end, they married and moved to Brussels, where she continued her studies at the Ecole de la Cambre. Over the next 10 years, the Dearborns lived in Washington, D.C., London and Paris with their two children.

Opon returning to the U.S., they settled in Connecticut, where Dearborn taught art from 1958-1961 at the Low Heywood School in Stamford, a private school for girls. She continued her own studies too, with a variety of schools and teachers.

Dearborn's work was shown locally in numerous group shows, at Silvermine Art Center, in particular. In 2008, The Westport Historical Society presented a retrospective of her paintings and drawings.

The lush English garden she created in her yard inspired much of her art over the years. Having raised her children and an assortment of exotic pets (parrots, turtles, a monkey, raccoon and numerous cats and dogs), she turned, in the last decade of her life, to composing the changing panoramas of her garden. She gave it as much thought and study as any of her paintings.

Widowed since 1977, she is survived by her son, Josiah Dearborn of Westport, and her daughter, Laura Dearborn-Bicht of Loveland, Colorado.