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Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012)

Author of Between Lives: An Artist and Her World

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Dorothea Tanning was born in Galesburg, Illinois and attended Knox College in her hometown before going to Chicago to study painting. She haunted the Art Institute seeking to learn all about what painting was. In New York in 1941, she met the art dealer Julien Levy, and his circle of émigré Dadaist and Surrealist friends, many of them refugees from Nazi-occupied France, including Max Ernst. Levy gave Dorothea two one-woman exhibitions (in 1944 and 1948). Max Ernst visited her studio, saw a painting, stayed to play chess, and fell in love. The couple would spend the next 34 years together, marrying in 1946 in a double wedding with Man Ray and Juliet Browner. Dorothea and Max lived for a time in Sedona, Arizona and by 1956, moved to France, where they divided their time between Paris and the Touraine and Provence countryside. These years included, for Dorothea, a five‐year adventure in making soft fabric sculptures. Max Ernst died in 1976 and Dorothea returned to the USA. Around this time, she began to write poetry, which appeared in a number of literary reviews and magazines, such as The New Yorker. Her published works also included two memoirs, Birthday and Between Lives, a collection of poems, A Table of Content, and a short novel, Chasm.
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