Laurel Burch

The number of moving stories about the giving, receiving and sharing of Laurel Burch art are a reflection not only of the woman herself, but of all the collectors who are drawn by her spirit as well as her designs. Many of them know and have been deeply touched by her life story.

At the age of 14, Laurel Burch left her tumultuous home life in Southern California with nothing more than a paper bag of clothing and the rare bone disease osteopetrosis, that she was born with. Cooking, cleaning, and babysitting for her room and board, she embarked on a search for some stable ground to support her fragile body. With no job, no money, and no dreams, Laurel Burch reached the Golden Gate of San Francisco.

Laurel was a self-taught painter. She saw herself as a folk artist, telling stories. “In our fast-paced, changing world,” she said, “we need symbols that are a reminder of the ongoing world of the spirit.” On some level, her work was always about bringing different cultures together, and about our connection with the earth and all living things, ideas that have only increased in relevance today. Laurel was always incredibly prolific. Even during her long periods of convalescence, when she was forced to paint from a bed or wheelchair, she seldom put her brushes down. Laurel said, “I refuse to have anything in my life that I can’t turn around into something magical and beautiful. I just refuse.” Her art will forever convey a sense of joy and passion and lightness. There is an inner strength in her figures, with their bold lines and sinuous curves, and something irrepressible in the explosion of her colors. The universe of her imagination was fertile, burgeoning, uplifting, egalitarian, a place where every flower and dragonfly was transformed into something...magical and beautiful.

On September 13, 2007, Laurel passed away due to complications from the bone disease, osteopetrosis. She will be greatly missed, but her spirit will continue to brighten our world.

laurelburch.com