City Summer


City Summer is a color serigraph from 1947 by American printmaker Dorr Bothwell (1902-2000). This impression is pencil signed, titled, dated, and editioned “17/40." It was printed by the artist on an ivory wove paper and the image measures 9-1/4 x 12-5/16 inches. City Summer is illustrated on page 83 in Dorr Bothwell: Straws in the Wind - An Artist’s Life as told to Bruce Levene. City Summer is an excellent example of Bothwell’s color screenprints from the 1940s that delved into the Surrealist influences of her teacher, Rudolph Schaeffer.

Dorr Bothwell, painter, printmaker, and educator, was born in San Francisco on May 3, 1902. Her family moved to San Diego in 1911 and Bothwell began her art studies five years later with Anna Valentien. She returned to San Francisco in 1921 and enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts where she was greatly influenced by Gottardo Piazzoni and Rudolph Schaeffer.

She moved to San Diego and then to Los Angeles where she joined the circle of post-surrealists which included Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundberg. Bothwell studied under Feitelson in classes organized by the Public Works of Art Project and she was accepted into the mural division of the WPA and painted murals in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Francisco. During this time, Bothwell learned the technique of serigraphy.

In 1968, Bothwell and Marlys Mayfield co-wrote the book Notan: On the Interaction of Positive and Negative Spaces, which encompassed the principles developed in her teaching. She received the Abraham Rosenberg Fellowship, the 1979 San Francisco Women in the Arts award, and was twice awarded Pollock-Krasner grants.

Dorr Bothwell is represented in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Harvard Art Museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Hunterian Galleries.

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