- Marion County
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Dorothy Morlan was born in Salem, Ohio in 1882 and moved with her family to the Indianapolis neighborhood of Irvington when she was twelve. Dorothy’s father was a passionate amateur painter whose enthusiasm and support for the arts was an enormous influence on Dorothy.
She began studying composition at the John Herron Art Institute in 1905. During that year, Dorothy became particularly interested in landscape painting, a passion that would shape her entire professional career. In addition to her formal studies in Indianapolis, Dorothy was a student of J. Ottis Adams and William Forsyth. She also traveled to New York to study at the school of Robert Henri, and to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she was a student of Daniel Garber.
She returned to Irvington in 1913, and quickly became involved in a public mural project at the Indianapolis City Hospital, under the direction of William Forsyth. Dorothy rarely completed her paintings on-site, preferring to work from sketches in her studio. This physical and psychic distance allowed her to imbue her landscapes with an imaginative element, creating a more subjective painting which was truer to Dorothy’s personal experiences.
Dorothy regularly participated in prestigious art exhibition on the East Coast, gaining critical attention and praise. She suffered a stroke in 1946 and became paralyzed on her right side. She died after several frustrating decades of being physically unable to paint.
Source: Skirting the Issue, by Newton and Weiss
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