Dorothy Schwartz papers, 1979–2014
Collection Scope and Content
The collection includes a variety of Schwartz’s research on Charles Darwin, from exhibition flyers to magazine articles. It includes photographs Schwartz took at Darwin’s house, and various iterations of the work she created from these photos. There is a small woodcut block, as well as six of Schwartz’s artist notebooks from 1979-2013, some of which contain personal journal writing.
Dorothy Schwartz was born in 1938 in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, and died in Maine in 2014. She graduated from Smith College in the late 1950s, and ten days after graduation, she married composer Elliott Schwartz. As an artist, Dorothy Schwartz maintained a fifty-year career, mainly as a printmaker known for her woodcuts. “I love the woodcut for its stark directness and power to convey rich tonal contrasts through swooping lines that emerge from wells of blackness,” Schwartz wrote in an artist statement. She was a longtime member of the Portland-based Peregrine Press. Schwartz had three solo shows at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, including “My Darwin” in 2009, as well as a retrospective at the Maine Jewish Museum in 2014. Schwartz also was the executive director of the Maine Humanities Council for 25 years. She turned a small, modestly funded non-profit into a major force that brought, as she liked to say, “the pleasure and power of ideas” to every county in Maine. Under her leadership MHC became widely recognized as one of the most innovative and energetic of the 56 councils affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Schwartz was also an accomplished lobbyist, fundraiser, consultant, and teacher who co-taught the University of Southern Maine’s “Thoughtful Giving” course.