Dorothea Litzinger Biography

Dorothea Litzinger




Dorothea Litzinger was born in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, on January 20, 1889. She studied art at the Margaret Morrison Carnegie School of Pittsburgh and at the Pratt Institute in New York. From 1908 to 1910, she attended the National Academy of Design. She was married to an attorney, John W. Thompson, although she was known solely as Dorothea Litzinger in all reference material, including her obituary in the New York Times. She was best known for her large and vibrant still life compositions, exhibiting them at New York venues such as Ehrich Gallery, Kennedy & Company, and Goupil & Co.

Litzinger served as director of the Art Alliance and belonged to the Allied Artists of America, an organization established in 1914 as an exhibition cooperative that elected its own juries. As a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Litzinger participated in the annual exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum. She also belonged to the New Haven Paint and Clay Club. In 1924, Litzinger held a solo exhibit of her work at the Ralston Gallery in New York City.

A February 11, 1917 New York Times critique of a Goupil show notes: “Miss Litzinger seems to have a more adventurous spirit, attacking large canvases and working at her flower studies with as much zest as though she were the first to discern the magnificent possibilities of lily pads and chrysanthemums. Her courage is repaid.”

In an article in Art News,The Career of Dorothea Litzinger” (1925), Litzinger is described as “radiant, young and full of energy, never afraid of hard work.” Her paintings of flowers are referred to as “an expression of herself in the generosity of their color and richness of design.” Dorothea Litzinger was “an artist of intelligence and promise, always striving for something better, and could she have lived, would no doubt have attained great heights in her decorative painting.”

In the artist’s file at the New York Public Library there is an invitation, dated March 1923, from Messrs. Kennedy and Company at 693 Fifth Avenue to a “special Easter Exhibition of decorative flower and landscape paintings by Dorothea Litzinger.” She was also involved in civic and community issues, and served as chair of the executive committee of the Beekman Hill Association. In that capacity, she was credited with organizing neighborhood children in a campaign for “sanitary streets.”

Dorothea Litzinger died at her home in New York on January 5, 1925 at age 36 of pneumonia.