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 graduated from the Rice Institute (now Rice University). She married German born Professor Heinrich Meyer, a linguist and Goethe scholar who taught at Rice, on February 19, 1945.

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 his Nazi policies were affecting American feelings toward the people of Germany. Meyer’s assets were impounded, 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. Heinrich also began teaching at Vanderbilt University, which now houses his rare book collection.

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 at the University of Washington with Glenn Alps who taught her 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 Stanley William 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 Meyer moved to Marin County, California and began teaching printmaking at the College of Marin where she met the painter Russell Chatham, whom she married. They settled in Marshall, California until the 1960s when they divorced.  She experimented with viscosity printing, developed at Atelier 17 and studied with Kaiko Moti. Most of these prints were done as experiments and were not printed in large editions.

Doris Meyer Chatham returned to the Pacific Northwest and is currently living in the Portland, Oregon area.