Doris Seidler Biography

Doris Seidler




Doris Seidler, painter and printmaker, was born Doris Falkoff in London, England in 1912. Little is recorded of her early life but it's known that her father owned a leather goods shop in London’s West End. In her early twenties, Doris married Bernard Seidler, an international fur broker, and they lived in London for the first few years of their marriage. With the French and English defeat at Dunkirk, England was in peril of invasion from Germany and Bernard made the decision to move the family out of the country. Bernard, Doris, and their son, David, sailed for New York in 1940.

Doris Seidler by this time was an amateur artist, seemingly self-taught. While Bernard continued to work as a fur broker, Doris’ world widened with her discovery of Hayter’s Atelier 17. Stanley William Hayter, also an evacuee from war-torn Europe, moved his famed Atelier 17 from Paris to the New School in New York and Doris worked there as a student, learning the techniques of printmaking. The Seidler family returned to England in 1945 to find their homeland devasted by bombing, and life for Londoners depressed. The stark landscape moved Seidler to record her observations; among the works produced at this depicted the heavily damaged Coventry Cathedral, a 1951 lucite engraving titled Blitzed Gothic.

After three years in England, the Seidlers immigrated to New York. Doris resumed her work at Atelier 17 until Hayter closed its doors in 1950 and returned to Paris. She eventually had studios in Manhattan and Great Neck, New York, and worked in the intaglio processes as well as woodcut, lucite engraving, and paper collage.

Doris accompanied her husband on a trip to Leningrad in the summer of 1958. She met a few of the city’s artists and later recorded her visit in “Report from Leningrad” which was published in the first issue of Artist’s Proof. In 1963, Seidler and fourteen other artists were commissioned by Business Week to create color woodcuts depicting U.S. cities. Her contribution was the city of Cleveland and her woodcut is illustrated on page 15 in Woodcuts of Fifteen American Cities from the Business Week Collection.

Seidler was a member of and exhibited with the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Society of Canadian Painter-Printmakers, and the Print Club of Philadelphia. She was awarded three fellowships to the McDowell Artist Colony and was a resident artist at the Tamarind Lithographic Workshop in Los Angeles. Her work was featured in numerous international solo exhibitions and, according to her curriculum vitae, garnered twenty-four awards. Doris Seidler’s work is represented in the collections of the Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the British Museum, London; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; the Seattle Art Museum, Washington; and the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Doris Seidler, witty and charming, was creating and promoting her work well into her nineties. She passed away in New York at age 97 on 20 October 2010.