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 Dee (Dorothy) Oldham Brown Joesting  (1907 - 2007)

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Lived/Active: Alaska/North Carolina/Maryland      Known for: block printing, watercolor painting, design, teaching

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Dee Oldham Joesting Brown is primarily known as Dee (Dorothy) Oldham Brown Joesting

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Biography from American Eagle Fine Art:
Dorothy (Dee) Byrd Oldham Joesting Brown

Painter, Printmaker, Costume and Stage Designer, Teacher, Scholar and Author

Mediums: Watercolor, Block Print

Born: October 26, 1907 – Baltimore, Maryland
Died: November 3, 2007 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Dorothy “Dee” Byrd Oldham Joesting Brown, 100, died Saturday November 3, 2007 at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Born to Mabel Sharrets and Leroy Byrd Oldham on October 26, 1907, she was educated in Baltimore, Maryland at Friends School.  She was educated in her college years at the Maryland Institute of Art, Carnegie Tech Institute, John Hopkins University, and Columbia University.

She trained in landscape painting under Charles Martin of Columbia University.

She was trained in color white-line woodcut block prints in Provincetown, Massachusetts during summers during her college years, 1925-1931.

She moved to Alaska in 1934 to marry Henry R. Joesting (1905-1965), professor of mathematics, chemistry at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, between 1934-1945.  It is believed he was a prominent geologist and mining minister and gold prospector in Goodpaster.

She and her husband built (1930) and lived in a log cabin on College Hill for the entirety of her stay in Alaska.  The structure is still existent today on the corner of College and University in Fairbanks, Alaka and is a bookstore.

She lived in College Hill, Fairbanks, Alaska between 1934-1945.   She created a number of color white-line woodcut prints during that period, as well as watercolors of the surrounding landscape and Alaskan wildflowers.  Some of the color white-line woodcut prints created during this time are titled: The Interior of a Prospector’s Tent, Nicholoff’s Quartz Mill, in Happy creek and others in Fairbanks titled, Fall Sunrise in Fairbanks, Cabin in Fairbanks, Black Rapids Glazier, Alaska Range, Church of the Immaculate Conception, and Autumn and Mount McKinley.

She signed her works, “Dee Oldham Joesting”

She was commissioned by Mr. Gasser, head of Agriculture Dept. of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks to paint in watercolor 150 botanical works of the wild flowers of Alaska for a book.  It is unclear where the watercolor works are today and the book was never published.

She moved to Alexandria, Virginia in 1949-50 from Alaska, where she had a farm which she raised horses.

In 1979, after marrying her second husband, Ralph S. Brown, sometime after the death of Henry R. Joesting, she moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. and lived at the Carol Woods Retirement Community with her husband.  They were Pioneer members of Carol Woods.

Her works can be found in many private and public collections.  She gifted watercolors and block prints to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 1994 for their permanent collection.  Her works can be seen on their website.

She additionally exhibited her works in Alaska, Virginia and North Carolina.

She knew several other artists from Alaska including Ted Lambert and WPA artists in Alaska.

In addition to her many artistic talents, she was also an author of a book titled, Arctic Adventure The Journals of Henry R. Joesting on Jan Mayen Island, 1926-1927.  It was privately printed in an edition of 100, 1983, by Dorothy Joesting Brown, 230 pages: a most interesting document.

She was clearly a unique individual with great training and accomplished talent, a maverick of her time breaking all gender gaps.

The above information has been compiled from the following sources:

Fairbanks, Alaska newspaper, Friday, July 16, 1937.
Letters written by Ms. Brown to Mr. Woodward and Mr. Walter A. Van Horn, Curator of Collections, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska.
Monica Shah, Conservator, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Anchorage, Alaska
The Raleigh News and Observer, Chapel Hill, N.C.
As well as notable family, friends and collectors

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.
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