In Loving Memory of the Visionary Artist, Ed Jaffe (1929-2023)

Ed Jaffe, a renowned artist, and creative luminary, peacefully passed away at the age of 94, leaving behind a legacy of artistic brilliance that profoundly influenced the Torrington arts community. He defied convention, transformed spaces, and embarked on an unceasing artistic journey that spanned nearly a century.

Born in New Haven, CT, Ed Jaffe’s artistic passion ignited at a young age, propelling him into a remarkable career encompassing photography, painting, and sculpture. His life unfolded in chapters marked by creativity, exploration, and an enduring love for the arts.

Ed’s artistic odyssey commenced at the tender age of 13 when he first held a camera, quickly transforming it into a tool for self-expression during his time as a student at Syracuse University. His relentless pursuit of excellence led him to the Art Center School in Los Angeles, where his junior year catapulted him into the photography elite of the 1950s. With just enough money for six months, he boldly relocated to Manhattan, where he thrived for 22 years, securing prestigious contracts with major corporations like DuPont, Pfizer, AT&T, and IBM. Ed’s exceptional talent as an advertising photographer illuminated the essence of Madison Avenue’s iconic campaigns.

However, it was a single photograph, capturing a man on a bicycle bathed in the morning sun and mist, that altered the trajectory of his life. This captivating image led him to Vermont, where he spent the subsequent two decades as a photographer for the outdoor gear company Orvis and as a prolific sculptor, refining his skills and gaining recognition as an esteemed artist.

Ed Jaffe’s artistry was deeply rooted in his unique perception of space and form, a consistent theme that spanned a quarter-century of creative endeavors. Even when he briefly delved into film and other ventures, his true passion always drew him back to his craft. He drew inspiration from his travels to the mountains of Central and South America, capturing photographs and filling sketchbooks that would later influence both his sculpture and paintings. His work was known for its three-dimensional aura and texture, inviting viewers to engage with it from every angle.

Over time, his sculptures gained prominence, expanding his reach to galleries in California, Georgia, and Florida. His artistic journey eventually led him to Orange, Virginia, where he established a unique space blending home, gallery, and art studio. His name graced the facade of his 15,000-square-foot downtown building, a testament to his enduring impact.

Ed Jaffe once said, “I am a sculptor who paints.” Whether working with marble, multimedia, or oil paints, he was entranced by the creative process, guided by the piece’s own evolution. His artistry was marked by interlocking major and minor spaces, triangular and pyramidal forms, and the harmonious interplay of texture and smoothness, all bathed in the magic of light and touch.

Ed Jaffe was a master of reinvention, embarking on new artistic chapters every two decades. In the twilight of his career, he embraced painting once more, embarking on a journey of rediscovery. A chance encounter with an empty Orange County storefront led him to purchase a 16,000-square-foot building that became his studio, exhibition space, and home.

In the final phase of his artistic journey, Ed Jaffe found his way to Torrington, Connecticut. Enchanted by the burgeoning arts community and the vibrant initiatives of the Torrington Arts & Culture Commission, he transformed his Highland Avenue farmhouse into a living gallery, adorning every nook with over 30 paintings and 15 sculptures. Ed’s commitment to fostering a cultural renaissance in Torrington leaves an enduring legacy that will inspire future generations.

As we bid farewell to this artistic visionary, Ed Jaffe’s legacy reminds us of art’s transformative power, not only on spaces but also on hearts and minds. His unwavering dedication to the arts will forever be cherished and celebrated.

Ed Jaffe is survived by his two sons, Marc and Glenn, as well as his extended family, including daughter in law, Angela and grand daughters Kara, and Genna. He is also survived by his younger brother Alan, Sister in law Liz, and their three sons David, Robert and Richard along with their respective families.

Though Ed Jaffe embarked on new creative journeys every two decades, his artistic brilliance will endure eternally, continuing to inspire and captivate those fortunate enough to experience his art.