Doris Meyer Chatham Biography

Doris Meyer Chatham




Doris Hoag Clark was born in Toronto, Canada on January 10, 1923. Her family moved to Texas where Doris attended and graduated from the Rice Institute (now Rice University). On February 19,1945, she married German born Professor Heinrich Meyer, a linguist and Goethe scholar who taught at Rice.

Prior to their marriage, Heinrich Meyer, who wrote under the pseudonyms H.K. Houston Meyer, Robert O. Barlow and Hugo Cartesius, was prosecuted in 1943 for having written a letter in 1938 requesting an audience with Hitler to explain how Hitler’s Nazi policies were affecting American feelings toward the people of Germany. Meyer’s assets were impounded and he was convicted and spent three months in an American concentration camp in Texas. His conviction was overturned on the basis that a naturalized citizen had the same freedom of speech as a native citizen.

In 1945, the Meyers moved to Emmanus, near Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania to help open a cooperative farming community with Jerome Irving Rodale. Doris Meyer helped edit Rodale’s Organic Farming and Gardening and Prevention magazines and helped plant Rodale’s first organic garden, one of the first in the United States.

After Doris and Heinrich were divorced in early 1955, she started driving to parts unknown and ended up in the Pacific Northwest. In Seattle she studied printmaking with Glenn Alps at the University of Washington and learned the techniques of lithography and collagraphy. After graduation she landed a job teaching art at Everett Junior College in Washington. In the late 1950s she travelled to France to study printmaking with S.W. Hayter who had returned to Paris and re-opened Atelier 17 in 1950. She continued to correspond with Hayter throughout the fifties and sixties.

Doris moved to Marin County, California and began teaching printmaking at the College of Marin where she met and later married the painter Russell Chatham. She experimented with viscosity printing, developed at Atelier 17, and studied with Kaiko Moti. Most of her prints were done as experiments and were not printed in large editions.

Doris Meyer Chatham returned to the Pacific Northwest, and then to the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently resides.