AN ARTIST whose paintings have been displayed around the world has died at her home in Ilkley.
Marie Walker Last, died peacefully on March 25, 11 days after celebrating her 100th birthday with family and friends.
She was born on March 14, 1917 in Scholes Cleckheaton, daughter of Hubert and Ethel Walker of The Manor House. On the outbreak of war in 1939 she first joined the Land Army and later became a driver in the YMCA.
Louise Walker, who is married to Marie's nephew, said: "After the war she was advised to study art in London by Robert Medley who discerned and nurtured her talent. From his recommendation she was accepted at the Chelsea School of Art and trained under Vivian Pitchforth and later under Terry Frost. During her time in London Marie immersed herself in the contemporary art scene working for and with a number of galleries including the Molton Gallery with Annely Juda and the New Vision Gallery run by the artist Denis Bowen. She met and became friends with many contemporary abstract artists, drawing inspiration on an international level.
"In 1961 she returned to Yorkshire and married Tom Last, a doyen of the legal profession who was a Director of the Bradford Permanent Building Society- later the Yorkshire Building Society. He retired as the Senior Partner of Last Suddards in 1977 and he and Marie continued their joint lifelong interest in the Arts and were active supporters and involved with Opera North. Marie dedicated her life to art, continuing an active career as an artist throughout her life."
Her paintings were exhibited in London, Paris, Athens, Florence and Australia. In 1988 she won the Druce Constable Award at an exhibition of contemporary landscape painting in the Camden Arts Centre. Her works are in the collections of The Bank of England, the Halifax Building Society, Granada Television, The Open University, Yorkshire Television, Bradford Art Gallery and Museums and the Universities of Leeds, Bradford and York.
In 1996 she was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by Bradford University.
Louise Walker said: "An artist and woman of rare sensibilities, charming and with true hospitality she gave generously of her time to young people interested in all aspects of the Arts through her long and active life. She will be greatly missed."
A service was held on April 4 at the Priory Church Bolton Abbey. Memorial donations may be made to the Priory for its work and mission.