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 Dorothy Gees Seckler  (1910 - 1993)

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Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts/Maryland      Known for: Abstract art, educator

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
untitled (abstract)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Adam Tamsky Fine Art:
Dorothy Gees Seckler was born in 1910 in Baltimore, MD.  She graduated from the Maryland Institute, where she was awarded a traveling scholarship that took her to Europe in the early 1930's.  When she returned to the US, she relocated to New York, where at the height of the Depression, she earned money doing illustrations and designing department store windows.  She took a Masters Degree in Art History and Art Education at Columbia, and during WWII was head of an illustration unit in the Army's Judge Advocate General's Office.

In 1937 she married Jerome Seckler, a young New Yorker studying art and music and active in the progressive politics of the day.  He went off to war in 1942, leaving her with a newborn son.  In 1945, at the end of the war, she began to work for the Museum of Modern Art as an art historian in the education department.  She stayed at MoMA until 1950 when she accepted a position with the magazine Art News, then at the center of developments in the emergence of the New York School, as the focus began to shift away from Europe to New York. As an associate editor she wrote the "Gallery Notes" section reviewing New York gallery shows, as well as important articles including the "Paints a Picture" series in which she provided an in-depth look into the process of making a painting.

After Art News she became a contributing editor of Art in America, taught at NYU and CCNY, and wrote, among other things, the definitive work on Provincetown's history as an art colony.

Throughout her career as a critic, Dorothy painted and worked in collage from her apartment studio in Provincetown.  She had work in several Provincetown galleries, and in the Provincetown Art Center and Museum.

An artist of great personal integrity, Dorothy flew under the radar when it came to self-promotion.  As a result, her work as a writer was duly acknowledged, while her standing as a painter was less distinguished.  Her work, for the most part containing some figural elements, was always lyrical but strong.  She worked in oil, watercolor, acrylic & collage.

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