1938 – 2020


It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share news of the passing of one of our cherished Galerie d’Orsay artists, Elizabeth DaCosta Ahern. After a brave fight with this dreadful illness, she’s finally at peace.


Elizabeth painted to “embrace the essence of a moment, a memory” and her art speaks for itself; her sense of color was second-to-none and her paintings carry a sense of sophistication and grace. In her words: “Painting for me is as necessary as breathing; as much an instinct as a delight.”


Our thoughts are with her husband, children, grandchildren, loved ones & friends.

A highly celebrated painter, printmaker, and art instructor, Ahern seeks to capture the essence of nature through her use of color and light. Ahern’s unique technique of “soak staining” is quite unlike so many of her contemporaries. Resting her canvases flat on the ground and pouring layers and layers of water-based paint until her brilliant colors soak and saturate her untreated canvases; she creates an unforgettable sensual, delicate mood.  


“Painting for me is as essential as breathing, a necessity and a delight… My paintings come from a compelling desire to shape the abstracted memory of Ahern says, landscape, in terms of the spirit of the place and my relationship with nature.”


DaCosta Ahern has exhibited her work through the U.S. Department of State’s Art in the Embassies program in Manama, Bahrain, Luanda, Angola, Kiev, Ukraine, Warsaw, Poland, Brussels, Belgium and Lisbon, Portugal. Her paintings are in many collections including The Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The Federal Reserve Bank, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, American Board of Surgery, DeCordova Museum, the Bank of America and many other corporate and private collections. 


DaCosta Ahern graduated from Boston University, The School of the Museum of Fine Art Boston, MA, and studied in tutorials with Helen Frankenthaler at the Fine Arts Institute of Santa Fe College in NM. She was invited to participate in the American Artist Abroad program in Luanda, Angola, and Lisbon, Portugal, received the Kinnicutt Travel Award from the Worcester Art Museum and was a finalist in painting, drawing, and printmaking from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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