SEATTLE, WA. - Dorothy Catherine Brott Liberty, artist, wife and mother, was a striking woman with big blue eyes and a vivid personality.
She was born in Marquette, Michigan (where she spent her childhood) on August 27, 1920, the daughter of Leo Grant Brott (editor of the Mining Journal) and Catherine Lillian Stenglein Brott. Her stepmother was Louise Fassbender Brott.
She died November 6, 2013 in Seattle, in the company of her children.
A self portrait
Dorothy began painting oils seriously at age 11 and continued to paint for the next 76 years. Although she worked primarily in oils she also produced art, both representational and abstract, in watercolor, ink, charcoal, pastels, texture paints and concrete.
Her teachers included Margaret Kerfoot and Alfred Hyslop at Carleton College, Francis Chapin and Rudy Penn at the Chicago Art Institute, Louis Bunce and Michel Russo at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland and John Nava of Los Angeles. She earned B.A. from the University of Iowa.
Her work appeared in many juried shows and won prizes from the 1940s through the 1990s including at the Upper Peninsula State Fair, the Seattle and Portland Art Museums, the Frye Art Museum and Henry Gallery in Seattle, the Maui Mayor's Invitational show, Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center on Maui, and other galleries and shows in Michigan, Hawai'i, the Pacific Northwest and California.
She contributed her time to public schools, the various churches where she and her family worshipped and to arts organizations.
Dorothy managed to combine a career in art with being a wife and mother when such an arrangement was unusual. This was made possible by the loving and respectful support for her life as an artist provided by her husband Bob (Robert Allard) Liberty, who grew up in L'Anse, and who had his own distinguished career as a CPA with Moss Adams & Company. They were married while Bob was serving in the US Navy during World War II, a marriage that lasted more than 61 years.
Dorothy often said that her family was her other great passion. Her three children (Kathleen of Christchurch New Zealand, Sara of Edmonds, Washington and Robert of Portland, Oregon) all learned from her example to live life vigorously and to value creativity. Dorothy Liberty is survived by them, their spouses Doug, Peter and Khanh, her three grandchildren and their families and her sister Judy Brott Katz of Roeland Park, Kansas.
Memorial services will be held at Exeter House at Trinity Parish Episcopal Church in Seattle in June.
Memorial contributions may be made in support of the Dorothy Liberty Gallery at Trinity Parish Church 609 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 or Trinity by the Sea, 100 Kulanihakoi,Kihei, Hawai'i.