Dorothy Dehner

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Dorothy Dehner
Jacob's Ladder by Dehner.jpg
Jacob's Ladder I, bronze of 1957, in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Born 1901 (1901)
Died 1994 (1995)
Nationality American
Known for sculpture

Dorothy Dehner (1901–1994) was an American sculptor.


She grew up in Cleveland. In 1918, she took classes at the Pasadena Playhouse, and studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1922, she moved to New York City, and studied at the Art Students League.

She met fellow artist David Smith in 1926, and they were married from 1927 to 1952. They lived at Bolton Landing, New York, where she concentrated on drawing and painting from 1940 to 1950.[1] The Smith's met Wilhelmina Weber Furlong and Thomas Furlong (artist) in New York City at the famed Art Students League and were introduced to the community of Bolton Landing by the avant garde couple.[2]

She and Smith separated in 1950. She studied printmaking with Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17. She turned to sculpture in bronze and metal, eventually working with wood.[3] In 1952, she had a solo exhibition at the Rose Fried Gallery.[4] In 1955, she married Ferdinand Mann, a publisher. In 1957, she had a one-woman exhibition at the Willard Gallery New York City.[5] In 1970-1971, she was a visiting artist at the Tamarind Institute.[6]

Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art,[7] National Museum of Women in the Arts the Smithsonian American Art Museum,[8] and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The Dorothy Dehner Foundation manages her artistic estate.[9]


  • "Dorothy Dehner", Joan M. Marter, Woman's Art Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Autumn, 1980 - Winter, 1981), pp. 47–50
  • Joan M. Marter, Dorothy Dehner: sixty years of art, Katonah Museum of Art, 1993, ISBN 978-0-915171-29-3
  • Martha L. Nodine, Paterfamilias: the Cincinnati years (1820-1900): artist Dorothy Dehner's German-American legacy, Martha L. Nodine, 2004


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