Dorothy Barbara Thomas Haddaway Biography

Dorothy Barbara Thomas Haddaway




Barbara Haddaway artist, designer, and illustrator, was born Dorothy Barbara Thomas in Lawrence, Kansas on December 10, 1902. What we were able to glean from our research is that her family relocated to Southern California in the early 1920s, and Thomas studied design at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles around 1929. In 1932 she rendered She married electrical engineer and inventor John Kersey Haddaway in 1932 not long after the Los Angeles Olympic Games - her watercolors and drawings of the Olympics are signed with her maiden initials, BT, while works later that year were formally signed "Barbara Haddaway".

Haddaway designed murals for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego, likely for the WPA, and drew a series of images capturing the various themes of the exposition, including the Better Housing exhibit and the Ford Building, which is still extant. Among these drawings, executed on fine-grade sandpaper to lend a softness to the compositions, she included small, stylized scenes of a Rio de Janeiro sunset, an Indo China temple, and the floating gardens of Mexico City. These striking images hint at Haddaway's love of new and different landscapes and cultures, and suggests that she may have been a traveler, herself.

In addition to contributing to these major events, Haddaway was commissioned to design a series of large panels for Bullock’s—a luxury department store founded at Seventh & Broadway in Los Angeleswhich included a Christmas series showing celebrations from around the world. John Haddaway's engineering knowledge - which included his inventions in vacuum tubes and electrical pumps - was required by the U.S. military during the Second World War and he and was stationed in Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, taking Barbara with him. Following the war, they settled in Mammoth Lakes in 1947 where they built their home and the Haddaway Manufacturing Company. The couple, both nature enthusaists, remained in the High Sierras where they launched a campaign in the early 1950s to gain National Monument status for the Mono Crater Chain.

Dorothy Barbara Thomas Haddaway died in Bishop, California on December 8, 1992.