Dorothy Stratton King Biography

Dorothy Stratton King




Painter and printmaker, Dorothy Stratton King (née Dorothy E. Stratton) was born to Robert and Edith Leidham Stratton in Worcester, Massachusetts on 21 December 1908. Raised in Sharon, Massachusetts and around 1940 she moved to Brooklyn, New York to study at the Pratt Institute under Alexander Brook and at the Brooklyn Museum School. With the growing impact of World War II, she returned to her family home in 1942, working as a courier with her father to deliver telegrams to families of soldiers killed in battle.

In 1944, Stratton moved to Southern California to further her studies, working as a cartoon cell painter for Warner Brothers' "Tom and Jerry" and as a set decorator and costume designer for Paramount Pictures and George Pal Productions. In 1948, she married animation director William Asbury King, and shortly thereafter moved to Paris, where she studied under Andre Lhote at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, delving further into abstraction. On her return to Los Angeles she began exhibiting her paintings.

Stratton King studied with Rico Lebrun at the University of California Los Angeles Summer School (1956-'57). In 1959 a solo exhibition of her work was mounted at the Norton Simon Museum to critical claim. She began studying printmaking at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1961. This proved to be a successful transition for the painter, finding that her tonal abstractions translated well on the plate. After a visit to Tunisia and Morocco, she returned to California to take further printmaking courses, and worked as an assistant to Paul Lindgren at the University of California La Jolla (1966 - '67). Stratton King continued to live on the West Coast through the 1970s, and worked as a conservator for printmaker Beatrice Levy and taught at the University of California La Jolla.


Stratton King relocated to MacLean, Virginia in the early 1980s where she co-founded the Washington Printmakers Gallery and the Columbia Pike Artist Studios. After a brief return to Southern California to work and exhibit (1990 - 1996), she finally settled in Arlington, Virginia. She was a member of the Washington Print Club and the Artists Equity Association and continued to work and to exhibit throughout the U.S.


Stratton King's work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the University Art Collection at Georgetown University, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. Her work has hung in the Pushkin Museum (Russia), the World Bank, and various embassies.
Dorothy Stratton King died in Virginia on June 14, 2007.