- Category : Art-Photography
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (19,25,41)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 1
American photographer, writer, editor, arts patron and advocate for social change.
Born to a prominent Jewish family, she attended Smith College, then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, 1922-1925, studying arts and languages. In 1925 she married Edward A. Norman, the son of an early Sears & Roebuck entrepreneur. They lived in New York City and had two children together, Andrew and Nancy.
Norman actively cultivated an interest in people who were involved with either the artistic arena or efforts at increasing social equity. In this role she became acquainted with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who was already a towering influence in the youthful field of art photography when they met in 1927. Although both were married at that time, Stieglitz became her mentor, her friend, and then her lover. The relationship continued until his 1946 death. Her marriage to Edward Norman ended in divorce in 1951.
Norman never worked as a professional photographer, instead capturing images of friends, loved ones and prominent figures in the arts and in politics. People she photographed include Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Thomas Mann, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Albert Einstein, Theodore Dreiser, Elia Kazan, Lewis Mumford and Sherwood Anderson. She also photographed special sites, special trees, special harbors, special churches and buildings. She created an extended portrait study of Stieglitz (he returned the favor by creating a similar study of Norman).
During the 1930s and 1940s Norman was active in various liberal causes, particularly civil rights, education, and independence for India and for Israel. She was a founding member of New York City's Liberal Party and a member of the Americans for Democratic Action, and served on the boards of both the New York Urban League and the National Urban League.
She was a productive author. She wrote a weekly column for the New York Post (1942-1949) and for ten years (1938-1948) edited and published the literary and social activist journal Twice a Year, whose contributors included Richard Wright, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Bertolt Brecht. She wrote or edited numerous books including The Selected Writings of John Marin (1949); Nehru: The First Sixty Years (1965), a two-volume collection of the Indian leader's writings; Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer (1970), the first full-length biography of the American modernist; and Indira Gandhi: Letters to an American Friend (1985). Her memoir, Encounters, was published in 1987.
Dorothy Norman died on 12 April 1997.