Lawrence “Larry” Kurtz, age 83, of Corning, passed away on Friday, August 7, 2020 at home with his loving companion by his side.
Larry was born on February 17, 1937 in Brooklyn, NY to Hyman and Minna (Rubenstein) Kurtz.
Larry Kurtz was one of the most creative and compassionate men you could ever hope to meet. He brought a distinctive style to his career as a New York City fashion designer that spanned almost four decades. Larry began costume designing in the theater for the likes of Tallulah Bankhead, Martha Raye and Patsy Kelly. He worked on the early Broadway production of Kiss Me, Kate!
He would soon move on to designing women's evening wear, bringing a theatrical vision and magic to his work. In the 1970's his LKL line graced every window of Bergdorf Goodman, an accomplishment he was especially proud of.
He is survived by his best friend and companion, Paul Spencer of Corning; brother, Alan (Sally) Kurtz of Phoenix, AZ; nieces, Corrine Betz of Allentown, PA and Cathy McGunnigle of Allentown; dear friends, Celia Morrisette of Asbury Park, NJ and Deborah Moss of Corning. Larry was predeceased by his sister, Linda.
A celebration of life will be held for Larry at a later date.
Artist, Companion, & Friend…
I first met Larry almost 27 years ago. I was immediately impressed with his attitude about creative work. He told me that his utmost principle was to create magic as a gift for the wearer of his garments. He loved the work and going to 'the dream room' as he called it. He had little use for the politics and attitude of the fashion world. He belonged to that rare breed of artist who strove to be a kind and loving person with a compassionate soul. He loved nature, literature and Asian arts, and we spent many hours enjoying British mystery series on the BBC.
When we would take drives through the countryside, whether it was in Chincoteague, Virginia or Blue Hill, Maine where we spent vacations, or more recently, in the Finger Lakes region where we live, Larry would always comment on how lucky he was to see and appreciate the beautiful scenery. He never took beauty for granted and nothing ever escaped him.
We bought our home in Corning, New York 12 years ago. Larry retired before me and moved up from Yardley, PA to design and decorate our home. He worked with friend and architect, Elise Johnson-Schmidt to bring the same magic to his living space that he brought to the fashion world. He created space that was filled with tranquility, grace and peacefulness. Our home is imbued with his spirit.
I hope that in the near future, glass artists from all over the world will be able to stop over while visiting and instructing here in Corning. I am looking forward to sharing the serenity and beauty that Larry created with other insightful people. In this way others will also be able to appreciate his legacy.
In the 27 years we were together, I have learned so much from this amazing man. He was strong, protective of those he loved, and fiercely independent. As with so many true artists he left behind so much more than he took with him. I am so fortunate to have known him. He lives on in me every day. Rest easy Larry my love, you are deeply missed. You led a full and wonderful life that deserves much celebration.