Dorothy Grider

Interviewee:  Dorothy Grider
Date of birth/age at interview:  January 19, 1915/63
Interviewer:  Terry Convey
Interview date:  Summer 1978
Interview location:  Grider home in New Hope
Interview length:  22 minutes
Time span discussed:  1940s to 1978

Summary:  This interview of a long time New Hope resident, reveals an energetic artist who made her livelihood from her illustration and painting work. The multi-talented artist tells of her life in New Hope after resettling from Kentucky to NYC in 1936 and then to New Hope in 1954. Dorothy grew up in Bowling Green, finishing high school in 1933 and then attending Western Kentucky State Teachers college. She illustrated over 100 books, 6 of which she wrote. Her papers are found at the Kentucky Library and Museum.


Time markers:
00:00 – interested in fine arts, commercial art, illustration, photography, line work, watercolors, anything; illustrated for many years
01:08 – always interested in photography, first Rolleiflex in Paris in 1950 on black market, was stolen in New York City and replaced by insurance
03:20 – art style changes, discouraged by modern style; worked for US Playing Card Company and Norcross Greeting Card; studied illustration at the Phoenix Art Institute in New York City; introduced to illustrating children’s books by acquaintance
06:30 – moved to Bucks County in 1954, lived on river in New Hope through flood of 1955; dropped agent and did well
07:50 – painted since 8 years old, early teachers in Bowling Green, KY, told her parents she had talent
09:05 – after college moved to New York City, attended the Phoenix Art Institute; first jobs in illustration
10:13 – returned to Western University to teach; realized she did not like but finished 8-month contract; returned to New York City to study and work
12:00 – Bucks County offers everything, New Hope cosmopolitan small town, interesting people, exciting place
13:30 – knows a few other artists, not active in Arts Alliance; busy with own work, does not socialize
14:03 – most artists clannish, busy with own projects
15:19 – visits New York City and Philadelphia, has traveled
15:42 – will stay in New Hope, view is out of this world
16:57 – did photography and design for Furlong Lamp brochures; not currently working on anything but want to return to painting
18:25 – did 12 books in one year
19:30 – illustrating nice career, end up with a book; hates to sell paintings; nice to work at home
20:54 – county has never offered exhibition space; in first Phillips’ Mill show; work not accepted there after modern wave of art came in; most local people do not know her career

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