Charles Levier (aka Maurice Verrier) 1920 – 2004
I had the privilege of personally knowing Mr. Levier from 1999 thru 2003 where he was a frequent visitor at our gallery Circa Something in Westhampton Beach, New York. We spent many hours discussing the artists that he knew in Europe, mostly Corsica, France, and England and these discussions gave me insights into the lives of these well known artists that only can come from a personal contact such as Mr. Levier had with them. Among the more notable discussions were those concerned with the painting life of Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. He had many an adventure in the army during World War II and would tell me stories about his encounters with the Germans, the Italians, and the Allied troops in France. He served in the French army in North Africa during WWII and later became a Liaison Officer with the U. S. Office of Strategic Services. He was born in 1920 in Corsica to a French father and an American mother from Corsica. At age 17 his fascination with color and form led him to study privately at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs. He came to the United States in the late 1940’s and in 1949 divided his time between France and the U. S. preparing for his first solo show which occurred at the Galerie Constantine in Lyons, France which was then followed in 1950 by his American debut in Los Angeles. In 1955 he was exhibiting at the Galleries de Colisee in Paris and then returned to America when an old friend, Dr. Lilienfeld of Van-Diemen, Lilienfeld Gallery in New York City began to exhibit his paintings. Lilienfeld’s influence in his career was quite important since Lilienfeld was not only applauded for his good taste but was also respected for his scholarship since he helped to compile and write the biographies for the definitive reference work in German, Thieme-Becker. Charles Levier, since that time, had established quite a following being collected by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Adlai Stevenson, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Prince and Princess Poniatoski, Mrs. Dan Topping, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Martin and many other notables. He has established over 473 auction records during his long career and is referenced in E. Benezit and on p. 630 of “Dictionnaries des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs”. He is also in the permanent collection of the Atlanta Museum, the Seattle Museum, the Evansville Museum, the New Orleans Museum, and the San Diego Museum. During the last 4 years of his life our gallery, Circa Something, in Westhampton Beach, New York represented Mr. Levier selling many of his oil and watercolor seascape, still life, and portrait paintings to our collectors. He was a fine artist and a fun person to have known.