Dorr Bothwell Biography

Dorr Bothwell




Dorr (Doris) Bothwell, painter, printmaker, designer and teacher, was born in San Francisco on May 3, 1902. Her family moved to San Diego in 1911 but in 1921 she returned to San Francisco where she studied at the California School of Fine Arts and the Schaeffer School of Design. Dorr continued her studies at the University of Oregon.

Painting, teaching, traveling, and marriage (to sculptor Donal Hord) dominated the years between 1926 and 1933. After her divorce, Dorr moved to Los Angeles in 1934, where she joined Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg in post-surrealist imagery and participated in the mural division of the Federal Arts Project.

She returned to San Francisco in 1942 and began working in serigraphy (screen-printing) which she had learned working in the WPA Art Project. In 1968 she co-authored the book "Notan, The Dark-Light Principle of Design," which encompasses the principles developed in her teaching. "Notan," first formulated by Arthur Wesley Dow, contrasts the interaction of positive and negative space in design.

Dorr traveled to Asia, Europe and Africa for inspiration and she spoke Samoan, French and Spanish.

In 1979, Dorr received the San Francisco Women in the Arts Award and, in 1998 and 2000, the Pollock-Krasner grant. Her work is represented in international collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum, San Francisco Fine Art Museum, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Hunterian Galleries.

Dorr Bothwell died September 24, 2000 at the age of 98. The Annex Galleries represents the artist's prints for her estate.