Photography Credit:

Dorothy D. Dennison
Birth Date:
Death Date: 1994

Artist Gallery
A native of Youngstown, Dorothy Dell Dennison made her initial appearance in national exhibitions by having a painting accepted in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1933. Fresh out of the Academy’s school, Dennison exhibited with Ernest Lawson, William Glackens, Childe Hassam and George Luks. Having won a fellowship, Dennison spent five months traveling abroad. Later in life, she would make many painting trips to Europe, Mexico and Canada. She returned to work for the WPA Art Program and later began teaching art. Dennison married Joseph Butler (Butler Institute of American Art) and had two children but never stopped painting. The subjects for her paintings were often the simplest things found close at hand. Clyde Singer said of her work: “No matter how large or small the canvas, her work never appears lazy, easy or quick. It is so well calculated that second thoughts are given a second chance to succeed, and where personal style always transcends subject”. Dorothy Dennison never capitalized on her husband’s, (Joseph Butler) name – she wanted to stand or fall on her own signature. In 1965 an exhibit of her work was held in Cleveland; she permitted only one line pertaining to herself in the catalogue – “Miss Dennison is 57 and has been painting ever since she could hold a brush”.