Doris Rosenthal’s artwork, inspired by her travels around the world, forged links between cultures and brought new aesthetics to design. Rosenthal studied at the New York Art Students League and worked briefly as a commercial designer of silks to earn enough money to tour Europe as an art student from 1920–1922. She taught at Columbia Teachers College from 1924–1931 while pursuing her art, and had her first solo show at Morton Galleries in 1928. She then published the acclaimed Prim-Art Series, prints based on graphic images from cultures around the world arranged by subject rather than region (transportation, clothes, animals), complete with teaching tools and suggestions for designers on how to incorporate cross-cultural influences into their art. The series earned her two Guggenheim fellowships, in 1931 and 1936, which she used to travel to Mexico. There, she travelled alone to remote regions, capturing the subtleties of daily life rather than the tourist attractions, and researched Mexican art traditions. Her work was widely praised by both Mexican and American critics at a time when Mexican culture was often scorned in America. Between trips, she taught art at James Monroe High School in the Bronx before retiring to Mexico.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Doris Rosenthal." (Viewed on March 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/rosenthal-doris>.