Skip to main content

Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923

Dreier, Dorothea A. (Dorothea Adelheid), 1870-1923


Representative image for Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923

The papers of Dorothea A. (Dorothea Adelheid) Dreier in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 4,336 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 2.6 linear feet

Summary: The papers of the painter Dorothea A. Dreier measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1881 to 1941, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1887-1923. These papers document not only her life and work as an artist, but also the activities of her distinguished family in the realms of social reform, women's suffrage, and politics, through correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, broadsides, exhibition catalogs, publications, photographs, ephemera, a sketchbook, and legal and financial records.

Biographical/Historical Note

Dorothea A. Dreier (1870-1923) was a landscape painter from Brooklyn, N.Y. Dorothea was the second of five children in a close knit, socially progressive family. Her siblings include the social reformers and suffragettes Mary E. Dreier and Margaret Dreier Robins. Her sole brother, H. Edward Dreier, followed his father into business and managed the family investments. Her youngest sister, Katherine S. Dreier, was a fellow artist, patron of modern art, and cofounder of the Société Anonyme, an organization dedicated to the promotion of modern art in the United States. Dorothea and Katherine Dreier studied painting at the Art Students League, with Walter Shirlaw, and in Europe. While in Holland, in 1913, Dorothea contracted tuberculosis and was forced to return to the U.S. During her convalescence, Dorothea remained actively involved in the arts as she continued to paint and draw and supported her sister Katherine's work at the Cooperative Mural Workshop, a short-lived combination art school and workshop that focused on the decorative arts. In 1920, Dorothea supported Katherine's establishment of the Société Anonyme, where Dorothea's first solo exhibition took place in 1921. This was her only solo exhibition prior to her untimely death in 1923.


The bulk of the collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1959 by Mrs. Peter Voorhees, Dorothea A. Dreier's neice. Additional materials were donated in 2007 by Theodore and Barbara Dreier, Dreier's great-nephew and great-neice.

Related Materials

The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University holds the papers of Mary E. Dreier.

Language Note

Some of the letters from Theodor and Ludwig Dreier are in German.


Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.