Dorr Bothwell Biography

Dorr Bothwell




Dorris Hodgson Bothwell [known as Dorr], painter, printmaker, and educator, was born in San Francisco 3 May 1902. Her family moved to San Diego in 1911 and Bothwell began her art studies five years later with Anna Valentien. She returned to San Francisco in 1921 and enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts where she was greatly influenced by Gottardo Piazzoni and Rudolph Schaeffer.

Dorr Bothwell moved to San Diego and then to Los Angeles where she joined the circle of post-surrealists which included Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundberg. Dorr studied under Feitelson in classes organized by the Public Works of Art Project and she was accepted into the mural division of the WPA and painted murals in Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Francisco. During this time, Bothwell learned the technique of serigraphy.

In 1968, Bothwell and Marlys Mayfield co-wrote the book Notan: On the Interaction of Positive and Negative Spaces, which encompassed the principles developed in her teaching. She received the Abraham Rosenberg Fellowship, the 1979 San Francisco Women in the Arts award, and was twice awarded Pollock-Krasner grants.

Dorr Bothwell is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; the Hunterian Galleries, Glasgow; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; the Laguna Art Museum, California; the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Long Beach Museum of Art, California; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California; and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington.

Dorr Bothwell died in Fort Bragg, California on 24 September 2000 at the age of 98.