Dorothy Stratton King Biography

Dorothy Stratton King




Painter and printmaker Dorothy Stratton King was born Dorothy Stratton in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1909. Raised in Sharon, MA, she was self taught in painting from a young age. 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 King 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 traveled to Paris, studying for two years at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, delving further into abstraction. On her return to Los Angeles she began exhibiting her paintings.

In the mid 1950s began studying once more, first at the University of Los Angeles Summer School under Rico Lebrun (1956-'57) and
holding a major solo exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of Art to critical claim in 1959. She didn't begin to work in printmaking until 1961 when she took courses the University of California, Los Angeles (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, working as an assistant to Paul Lindgren at the University of California, La Jolla (1966 - '67). She continued to live on the West Coast through the 1970s, working as a conservator for printmaker Beatrice Levy and taking a teaching position at La Jolla.

A second relocation to the East Coast brought her to MacLean, Virgina, in the ealy 1980s. There, she would help found the Washington Printmakers Gallery and the Columbia Pike Artist Studios. After a brief return to work and exhibit in Southern California (1990 - 1966), she finally settled in Arlington, Virginia, and continued to work and to exhibit throughout the U.S. until her death on June 14, 2007. King's work is held in the collection sof the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Georgetown University Fine Print Collection, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, among others. Her work has hung in the Pushkin Museum (Russia), the World Bank, and various embassies.

Selected exhibitions:
Pasadena Art Museum, 1959 (solo); La Jolla Museum of Art, 1962 (solo); U.S. Information Service, Tunis, CA 1965 (solo); Art in Embassies Program, ten various countries, 1965-'72; California Society of Printmakers, Richmond, CA, 1972; Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada (1991); Washington Printmakers Gallery (1992); University of San Diego's Founders Gallery (1994); the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia (1996), the Barbican Center, London, England (1996); the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C. (1996).

West Comp., Motorola Inc., 1962 (first prize); Southwestern College, regional exhibition, 1963 (first prize); Kogo Time-Life Awards, San Diego Art Guild exhibition, 1963 (first and purchase prizes).

Artists Equity Association, public committee (1946 - '50); Westwood Artists Association (life member; president 1956 - '57); UCLA Arts Council (1957 - '62); La Jolla Museum of Art (registrar and membership secretary, 1964 - '65, art reference library chairperson, 1966 - '70); San Diego Fine Arts Society and Arts Guild committee, SD Fine Arts Gallery (art guild committee chairperson, 1963 - '66; vice chair, 1972 - ?).