Doris Lee

American, 1905-1983
SOLD
Zodiac
**ADDITIONAL PAINTINGS BY THE ARTIST CURRENTLY IN INVENTORY. PLEASE CONTACT GALLERY FOR DETAILS.**

Doris Lee, born in Aledo, Illinois, was one of the most successful artists of the Depression era. Lee studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with the noted American Impressionist Ernest Lawson. She also studied in Paris with the influential cubist painter André Lhote and at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, with Arnold Blanch, whom she later married. In 1931 Lee moved permanently to Woodstock, New York, and established herself as a leader in that important artist colony. The town's close proximity to New York City guaranteed a regular flow of artists between the colony and the metropolis, keeping in touch with current developments in the arts. The Art Students League of New York helped to create that flow when it established a summer school in Woodstock in 1906 that brought hundreds of art students into the town each summer.

The 1930s marked the beginning of a long and productive career for Doris Lee. Her work included easel paintings, murals, prints and illustrations, as well as costume, textile and ceramic design. Lee's work from this period was concerned with life in rural America, and in a stylistic and ideological sense, has much in common with Regionalism. Lee portrayed the simple joys of American life in touching, nostalgic and sometimes fanciful ways. Lee's work was exhibited in the first Whitney Biennial exhibition in 1931. In 1932 the Rhode Island School of Design acquired April Storm. Her earliest major career achievement came in 1935 when she was awarded the Logan Prize for her painting Thanksgiving from the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting, a view of a farm kitchen full of "bustle and bounce and sly humor," was subsequently purchased by the Institute. Shortly after the Logan Prize, Lee was awarded two commissions by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for murals for the Washington, D.C. Post Office Building. An additional boost to the artist's fame and prestige came in 1937 with the purchase of her painting Catastrophe by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 1938 to 1941, Doris Lee was invited to be a summer guest artist at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. The 1930s finished with a flourish when Lee was invited to exhibit in the 1939 New York World's Fair. This early support given Lee by museums and the art establishment was an impressive accomplishment for a young woman struggling for acceptance in the male-dominated art world of the time.

Starting in the late 1930s, Doris Lee and her husband, Arnold Blanch, began to spend their winters in Key West, Florida. During the winters of the 1940s into the 1960s Lee painted her unique Florida subjects: fishermen, bathers, beaches, mangrove swamps, and Florida's plants and wildlife. Lee combined the sophistication of her knowledge of pure abstraction with her love of American folk art to create her unique style.

In the 1940s Lee's work became more stylized, more concerned with pure form and color. Her simple, flat paintings portrayed gardens, seasonal landscapes, and women and children, as well as birds and beasts. In 1943 and 1944 Lee was guest artist at Michigan State College in Lansing, Michigan. She was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 1944 and was included in fifteen of the annual juried exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Lee received many painting assignments from Life magazine during these years. She worked in Hollywood, California and Hawaii during the winter months of 1945 and toured Central America in 1946 and North Africa in 1951 for Life Magazine assignments.

Doris Lee's dealers were Associated American Artists Gallery and World House Galleries in New York City, the Maynard Walker Art Gallery (1936-1950), and Rudolf Gallery in Woodstock. She participated in both one-man and group exhibitions with these dealers.

Doris Lee retired from painting in the 1960s. She died in Clearwater, Florida in 1983. In addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lee's work can be found in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Cleveland Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC.

1935 Logan Award, Art Institute of Chicago

1935 Commission awarded for mural in Federal Post Office, Washington, DC

1938 Second Prize, Worcester Art Museum

1943 Third Prize, Carnegie Institute

1943 Library of Congress, Purchase Prize in lithography

1944 Jennie Sesnan Landscape Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

1946 New York Art Director Award of Merit

1947 Library of Congress Lithograph Award

1950 New York Art Director Award of Merit

1964 Berkshire Painting Prize

1966 Art and Science Exhibition First Prize

American Artists Congress

An American Group

National Association of Women Artists

Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers

Woodstock Artists Association (president, 1952)

Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York

American Artists Congress, New York, New York

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Associated American Artists Gallery, New York, New York

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Walker Galleries, New York, New York

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Woodstock Artists Association, Woodstock, New York

Worcester Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts

World House Galleries, New York, New York

Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York, New Paltz, New York

Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection, Chicago, Illinois

Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Clearwater, Florida

Gibbs Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina

Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina

Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Woodstock Artists Association, Woodstock, New York

Doris Lee, born in Aledo, Illinois, was one of the most successful artists of the Depression era. Lee studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with the noted American Impressionist Ernest Lawson. She also studied in Paris with the influential cubist painter André Lhote and at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, with Arnold Blanch, whom she later married. In 1931 Lee moved permanently to Woodstock, New York, and established herself as a leader in that important artist colony. The town's close proximity to New York City guaranteed a regular flow of artists between the colony and the metropolis, keeping in touch with current developments in the arts. The Art Students League of New York helped to create that flow when it established a summer school in Woodstock in 1906 that brought hundreds of art students into the town each summer.

The 1930s marked the beginning of a long and productive career for Doris Lee. Her work included easel paintings, murals, prints and illustrations, as well as costume, textile and ceramic design. Lee's work from this period was concerned with life in rural America, and in a stylistic and ideological sense, has much in common with Regionalism. Lee portrayed the simple joys of American life in touching, nostalgic and sometimes fanciful ways. Lee's work was exhibited in the first Whitney Biennial exhibition in 1931. In 1932 the Rhode Island School of Design acquired April Storm. Her earliest major career achievement came in 1935 when she was awarded the Logan Prize for her painting Thanksgiving from the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting, a view of a farm kitchen full of "bustle and bounce and sly humor," was subsequently purchased by the Institute. Shortly after the Logan Prize, Lee was awarded two commissions by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for murals for the Washington, D.C. Post Office Building. An additional boost to the artist's fame and prestige came in 1937 with the purchase of her painting Catastrophe by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 1938 to 1941, Doris Lee was invited to be a summer guest artist at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. The 1930s finished with a flourish when Lee was invited to exhibit in the 1939 New York World's Fair. This early support given Lee by museums and the art establishment was an impressive accomplishment for a young woman struggling for acceptance in the male-dominated art world of the time.

Starting in the late 1930s, Doris Lee and her husband, Arnold Blanch, began to spend their winters in Key West, Florida. During the winters of the 1940s into the 1960s Lee painted her unique Florida subjects: fishermen, bathers, beaches, mangrove swamps, and Florida's plants and wildlife. Lee combined the sophistication of her knowledge of pure abstraction with her love of American folk art to create her unique style.

In the 1940s Lee's work became more stylized, more concerned with pure form and color. Her simple, flat paintings portrayed gardens, seasonal landscapes, and women and children, as well as birds and beasts. In 1943 and 1944 Lee was guest artist at Michigan State College in Lansing, Michigan. She was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 1944 and was included in fifteen of the annual juried exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Lee received many painting assignments from Life magazine during these years. She worked in Hollywood, California and Hawaii during the winter months of 1945 and toured Central America in 1946 and North Africa in 1951 for Life Magazine assignments.

Doris Lee's dealers were Associated American Artists Gallery and World House Galleries in New York City, the Maynard Walker Art Gallery (1936-1950), and Rudolf Gallery in Woodstock. She participated in both one-man and group exhibitions with these dealers.

Doris Lee retired from painting in the 1960s. She died in Clearwater, Florida in 1983. In addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lee's work can be found in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Cleveland Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC.

Awards & Memberships

1935 Logan Award, Art Institute of Chicago

1935 Commission awarded for mural in Federal Post Office, Washington, DC

1938 Second Prize, Worcester Art Museum

1943 Third Prize, Carnegie Institute

1943 Library of Congress, Purchase Prize in lithography

1944 Jennie Sesnan Landscape Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

1946 New York Art Director Award of Merit

1947 Library of Congress Lithograph Award

1950 New York Art Director Award of Merit

1964 Berkshire Painting Prize

1966 Art and Science Exhibition First Prize

American Artists Congress

An American Group

National Association of Women Artists

Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers

Woodstock Artists Association (president, 1952)

Selected Exhibitions

Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York

American Artists Congress, New York, New York

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Associated American Artists Gallery, New York, New York

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Walker Galleries, New York, New York

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Woodstock Artists Association, Woodstock, New York

Worcester Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts

World House Galleries, New York, New York

Museums & Collections

Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York, New Paltz, New York

Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection, Chicago, Illinois

Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Clearwater, Florida

Gibbs Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina

Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina

Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska

University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Woodstock Artists Association, Woodstock, New York

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