Dreyfus-Barney, Laura

BORN 30 Nov 1879, Cincinnati, Ohio - DIED 18 Aug 1974, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Passy Cimetičre, 2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing (division 09)

Laura Barney was the daughter of the artist Alice Pike Barney and the sister of the lesbian poet Nathalie Barney. Laura was educated privately and became a well known Bahá'í teacher.

She attended the French boarding school Les Ruches that was founded by Marie Souvestre. In April 1911 she married the lawyer Hippolyte Dreyfus. She had met him in 1900 in Paris. Both were intimate with Abdu'l-Bahá (1844-1921) and Laura translated many of his speeches. In 1914 they visited Qingdao, China, at that time a colony of Germany. They managed to escape when the First World War broke out. During the war she served in the American Ambulance Corps and the American Red Cross.

Her husband died in 1928. From the 1920s until the 1960s she was active in the International Council of Women that she represented to the League of Nations. For her many serviced she became chevalier (in 1925) as well as officer (1937) of the Légion d’Honneur. During the Second World War she lived in the USA but after the war she returned to Paris, where she discovered that the Germans had taken away her notes from her many trips.

She remained active for the Bahá movement. She lived near her sister Nathalie, but their relations were complicated and they were mostly in contact about their finances. Nathalie died in 1972 and Laura in 1974, aged 94. Both were buried at the Passy cemetery in Paris.

Related persons
• is brother/sister of Barney, Natalie Clifford


The grave of Natalie Barney at Passy Cimetičre, Paris.
Picture by Androom (21 May 1999)


Who was Who in America volume VI 1974-1976, With world notables, Marquis' Who's Who Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1976
Laura Clifford Barney - Wikipedia

Drovetti, Bernardino

Published: 12 Jan 2018
Last update: 25 Apr 2022