Pioneer Modernist

In late 2001, trustees of the South Texas Institute for Arts put aside exhibition schedules and financial charts for a moment to explore two large abstract paintings by the late artist Dorothy Hood of Houston. The Institute recently had acquired half of Hood's estate: 900 works including paintings, drawings and collages, exhibition catalogs, the artist's unpublished autobiography and other writings and correspondence.

She lived from 1919 to 2000, mostly in Houston and in Mexico. Science and space exploration influenced her work. So did modern art, poetry and philosophy.

Dorothy Hood was a major regional artist and, some say, the best abstract painter of her generation in Texas. But her reputation also has a greater reach. Hood's drawings and paintings are in permanent collections of major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She had numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Europe.

Hood's honors include the 2005 Childe Hassam Prize from the Academy of Arts and Letters; the 1988 Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts award form the Women's National Caucus for Art; and an honorary doctorate in 1990 from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied in the late 1930's.

Dorothy Hood died on Oct 28, 2000 at the age of 81. The following spring, Dr. Dronamraju contacted the South Texas Institute for the Arts about acquiring the Hood estate. He was executor of the estate, and he headed the Dorothy Hood Foundation, which was established to ensure that her work went to a museum.


1919 Born in Bryan, Texas, August 22

1937 Awarded National Scholastic Scholarship to Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R. I.

1940 Continued education at Art Students League, New York

1941-61 Lived in Mexico, traveling in Central and South America. Married Velasco Maidana, Bolivian composer and conductor.

1943 Exhibition at the Gama Gallery, Mexico City

1950 Exhibition at the Willard Gallery, New York

1955 Exhibition at the Proteo Gallery, Mexico City

1958 Exhibition at the Duveen-Graham Gallery, New York

1960 Exhibition at the Genova Gallery, Mexico City

1961 Returned to Houston, Texas

1961-72 Taught at the School of Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1962 Began exhibiting at Meredith Long & Company, Houston, Texas and regularly from then on: 1964, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986. Exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia.

1963 Exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1965 Exhibition at Wittee Memorial Museum, San Antonio, Texas.

1970 Retrospective exhibition at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.

1971 Exhibition at Rice University, Houston

1972 Retrospective exhibition at Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY

2005 Awarded the Childe Hassam Purchase Prize at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY

1974-1976 Worked on four occasions at the Ahrenberg Atelier, Chexbres, Switzerland.

1974 International Kunstmesse, Basel Switzerland "Drawing of Dorothy Hood" exhibition at the Everson Museum, State University of New York College at Potsdam, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas. Exhibition at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, NY

1975 Group exhibition at Michener Galleries, University of Texas, Austin Group exhibition with Long & Co. artists at Davis and Long Gallery, NY

1976 Selected to create work and exhibit in the Everson Museum's "New Work in Clay by Painters and Sculptors," featuring seven leading American artists. Group exhibition at Ahrenberg Collection Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany Exhibition at Mariane Friedland Gallery, Toronto, Canada

1978 Retrospective exhibition at McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas Exhibition at Meredith Long Contempories, New York; also in 1980.

1982 Elected a member of the Italian Academy of Arts and Labor Work selected for hanging in the official residence of the Vice-President of the United States, Washington, D. C., at the Naval Observatory

1979 "Women from Nostalgia to Now," group exhibition at Alex Rosenberg Gallery, NY

1981 "A Sense of Spirit," group exhibition at Paolo Soleri's Arco Santi, New Mexico

1982 "A Sense of Spirit," at Lawndale Annex, Houston "Modern Masters: Women of the First Generation", group exhibition at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

1983 "New Work from a New City," group exhibition at Salzburg Kunstverein; Galerie an der Stadtmauer, Villach Austria; Palazzio Lichenstein, Vienna; State Gallery, Linz, Austria Kunstverein, Berlin

1985 Group exhibition of drawings at the Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Group exhibition of U.S. women artists in Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Focus International Invitational group exhibition at Centre International D'Art Contemporain, Paris "Fresh Paint," group exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and P.S. 1, New York "Message '85," group exhibition at the Light Gallery, NY "The Comet Show," group exhibition at the Light Gallery, New York, and Bard College, Annandale, NY "Private Collections, Public Treasures," group exhibition at the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX

1986 Exhibition at Wallace Wentworth Gallery, Washington, D.C. Premiere of "Dorothy Hood: The Color of Life," documentary film, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Corcoran Museum, Washington, D.C.

1987 "The Anatomy of Drawing," group exhibition at Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston "20 Centuries of Work on Stone: Lithographs," group exhibition at the Blaffer Gallery of the University of Houston

1988 Received the Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts Award from the Women's National Caucus for Art.

1990 Dorothy Hoods Collages: Connecting Change, Robert Hobbs, Wallace Wentworth Gallery, Washington, D.C. Awarded honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design

1993 "7 Artists' Progress, Seven Houston Artists, 1943-93," The Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas

1998 One person Exhibition at Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX One person Exhibition at Transco Tower, Houston, TX, One person Exhibition at MD Modern Gallery, Houston, TX

2000 Hood died on October 29 of cancer