Dorothy Eisner papers
Scope and Contents
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
1.25 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Dorothy Eisner (1906-1984)
Dorothy Eisner met the writer John McDonald in New York in 1935; they were married on November 7, 1936, while each was employed by the federal government, McDonald with the Federal Writers’ Project, and Eisner with the Resettlement Administration. The following spring the couple left their jobs and traveled to Mexico City with members of the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky, a group of American liberals and intellectuals who supported the Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Made against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow Trials (also known as the Dewey Commission after its chairman, John Dewey). While McDonald worked on Trotsky’s administrative team, Eisner painted portraits of Trotsky and the hearing room.
With the exception of living in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, from 1942-1945, Eisner resided and had painting studios in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. She generally spent her summers painting in rural settings including Linville, North Carolina (1932-1935), Liebhardt, New York (1937-1942), Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (1947), and Livingston, Montana (1949-1958); the latter three were places to which she was introduced by her husband, an avid fisherman. From 1960 through her death, Eisner summered and painted on Cranberry Island, off the coast of Maine. She died in New York on April 28, 1984, survived by her husband, stepdaughter Joan (born 1929), and daughter Christie (born 1942).
Dorothy Eisner was a member of the Society of Independent Artists and the American Artists’ Congress, and was a founding member of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. She also exhibited with the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.
This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization. Descriptive information is drawn in large part from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents.
The collection contains correspondence, photographs, and printed matter that were culled from several accessions (2000-2008) of John McDonald and Dorothy Eisner papers, specifically Uncat MSS 76, Uncat MSS 386, Uncat MSS 997, and Uncat MS Vault File (1938), as well as material donated separately in 2008. It was formerly filed under two different call numbers: Uncat MSS 1048 and Uncat MSS 1069.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Andrews, Dorothy, 1918-2008
- Art, American -- 20th Century
- Artists -- United States
- Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Made Against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow Trials, New York, 1937
- Eisner, Dorothy
- Eisner, Florine, 1883-1974
- Eisner, Moritz, 1852-1938
- Eisner, William J., 1880-1975
- Evans, Walker, 1903-1975
- Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors
- Holzhauer, Emil, 1887-1986
- Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980
- McPherson, Sarah Freedman, 1894-1978
- Moscow Trials, Moscow, Russia, 1936-1937
- Painters -- United States
- Photographic prints
- Putnam, Anne Eisner
- Slesinger, Tess, 1905-1945
- Trilling, Diana, 1905-1996
- Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940
- Trot︠s︡kai︠a︡, Natalii︠a︡ Ivanovna, 1882-1962
- Women artists -- United States
- Guide to the Dorothy Eisner Papers
- by Sandra Markham
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
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