a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing

H. D. (1886–1961) was born Hilda Doolittle into a traditional Moravian American family, and attended the esteemed women’s college Bryn Mawr in 1904. There she met and formed longstanding friendships with Marianne Moore and her soon-to-be collaborator Ezra Pound. After university Doolittle traveled to Europe, where she remained for the majority of her life. Her poems were published under the pseudonym H. D. for the first time in Poetry magazine; the pseudonym pleased her, as she had always believed that the name “Do-little” was less than encouraging, and she used it for the rest of her life. Her first volume, Sea Garden (1916), cemented her position as a significant twentieth-century poets. Though her early work was classical in structure and conveyed themes of the women’s role, it developed as she began to explore more personal subject matter. She came to be considered the first of the Imagists, a poetic movement developing styles of free verse and stream-of-conscious narrative. Her interests in archetypes and symbolism were prevalent throughout her work, though the content of her work evolved drastically, displaying vivid undertones of psychoanalytic and mystical beliefs. In addition to her extensive repertoire, H.D. also served as a literary editor of The Egoist, and aided in the production of Des Imagistes.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe
Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895–1989) was one of the most celebrated photographers of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. Born in 1895 in San Francisco, Dahl-Wolfe first started taking pictures in 1923. She did her first fashion work for Harper’s Bazaar in 1936 and had a long career as a fashion photographer for that publication. Working in the magazine’s heyday, she pioneered the use of natural lighting in fashion photography and shooting on location and outdoors. Dahl-Wolfe’s work has been exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Grey Gallery at New York University, and the Women’s Museum in Washington, D.C.

Maud Murray Dale (1876–1953) was an American art collector. Her artistic taste focused on French Impressionism and she built a relatively conservative collection of modern art during the interwar period, avoiding much of the avant-garde. In 1931 and 1932 Dale curated six exhibitions for the Museum of French Art at the New York French Institute, where she displayed French modern artists alongside old master paintings, in order to showcase a historical lineage of art-making. During World War II, like many collectors, Dale shifted her focus to collecting primarily American art. When her health started to deteriorate in the mid-1940s, she began to sell portions of her collection, which had grown at that point to over eight hundred works. The remainder of the collection was given on extended loan to various American museums.

Emily Hoffman Dalziel (1876–1928) was a New York socialite and philanthropist. During World War I she regularly sponsored wartime benefits with Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler.

Marie-Louise Damien (1889–1978) was a French singer and actress known by her stage name Damia. After years of performing shows as second billing, she worked with American dancer Loie Fuller on her stage presentation and began performing as the headlining act. At the beginning of World War I, she opened Le Concert Damia in Montmartre, where she became the first star ever to have a single spotlight trained on her face, bare arms and hands. Damien was considered the most important singer in the chanson realiste genre until Edith Piaf entered the scene in 1936. She ended her decades-long career with a farewell concert featuring Marie Dubasin in front of a full house at the Paris Olympia.

Elaine Dannheisser (1923–2001) was born in Brooklyn and studied at the Art Students League in New York, hoping to become an illustrator. After school, she worked in an engraving studio. In her late twenties she began avidly collecting art. Active in the international art scene, Dannheisser and her husband collected a wide range of French masters and emerging modernists. In 1981 she purchased a building in Tribeca to display her collection and began focusing on Neo-Expressionist and graffiti artists. She sold many of these works by the mid 1980s, however, and turned her attention to emerging contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman and Jenny Holzer. Rejecting the safety and conservatism of going after more established artists, Danneheisser called the art she favored “tough work.” She served on the boards of the New Museum and the Guggenheim. She became a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in 1996 and gave them seventy-five pieces from her collection, the largest set of contemporary works ever to be given to the museum.

Maida Castelhun Darnton (1906–unknown), also known as M.C. Darnton, was an American literary translator, editor, and author. She edited books such as The European Caravan: An Anthology of the New Spirit in European Literature (1931) and Harper’s Pictorial Library of the World War Volume IX: War Makers and Peace Maker—Character Studies of the Leading Actors in the Conflict (1920) and translated A Norwegian Farm (1933) and A Norwegian Family (1934). She also co-wrote plays such as The White Dove in 1914 (under the pseudonym Halwerd Darnton) and Turkish Delight in 1920.

Clara S. Davidge (1858–1921) was the proprietor of the Madison Gallery at 305 Madison Avenue and a decorator with Coventry Studios. Unique for its time, the Madison Gallery offered free exhibitions of little-known and independent American artists. The 1913 Armory Show may have been conceived there in 1911. In order to help fund the exhibition, the well connected Davidge solicited money from donors, including Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Davidge later purchased at least seven pieces from the Armory Show.

Elizabeth Stieglitz Davidson (1897–1956) was a friend of painter Georgia O’Keeffe and a cofounder of the Ramakrishna-Vivekanada Center in New York.

Louise Davidson was an American actress and theatrical manager affiliated with a group of women, mostly writers and mostly lesbians, who called themselves “The Rope” and were active in Paris’s Left Bank in the 1930s and ’40s. The women were a selected group of students of the spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff (George Gurdjieff), who often employed shock techniques that today would be seen to resemble those associated with Zen or Sufi masters. Several of the Rope members were also close acquaintances of Gertrude Stein. Davidson related to the Gurdjieff work more through experience and feelings than words and writing. She returned to the United States at the outbreak of World War II and spent her remaining years working with the theater company led by actress Eva Le Gallienne in Connecticut.

Gwendoline (1882–1951) and Margaret Davies (1884–1963) were born in Lladinam, Wales. The sisters were lifelong art lovers: Gwendoline pursued music as a hobby, and Margaret, painting. During the World War I they both volunteered with the Red Cross. After the war, they bought a mansion in Gregynog, Wales, and established an arts center there. Through this venture they created the Gregynog Press as well as the annual Gregynog Music Festival that lasted until 1938. Together they amassed an impressive collection of British art of the twentieth century, as well as many French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. They donated their entire collection of 260 pieces to the National Museum of Wales, vastly transforming the scope and quality of the museum’s holdings. The Davies sisters were also major benefactors of many social, economic and cultural initiatives in Wales.

Marjorie Daw (1902–1979) was a silent film actress born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She began acting as a teenager as a way to support her younger brother when their parents passed away. She appeared in her first film in 1914 and worked through the 1920s, acting in over seventy full-length films and shorts. Daw played the female lead role in silent era classics like The Knickerbocker Buckaroo (1918) and His Majesty the American (1919), but retired from acting with the advent of sound film.

Mercedes de Acosta  (1893–1969), born in New York City, was an eccentric and talented playwright, poet, and novelist. Often described as the women who, in the words of Alice B. Toklas, “had the most important women of the twentieth century,” de Acosta had romantic relationships with Marlene Dietrich, Isadora Duncan, Greta Garbo, and Eva Le Gallienne. Due to her desire to expand her writing career, she was ambivalent at first about painter Abram Poole’s marriage proposal. De Acosta published three volumes of poetry and a novel, and she wrote ten plays and a musical, several of which were staged; nonetheless her literary ambitions were frequently overshadowed by her personal relationships. As an activist de Acosta supported the Spanish Republican government during the Civil War in Spain (1936–1939) in opposition to the fascist Franco regime. She also noted in her 1960 memoir Here Lies the Heart that she believed in every form of independence for women and campaigned for women’s suffrage.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986) was a French writer, intellectual, political activist, Feminist, and social theorist. Shortly after women were able to attend higher education institutions in France, de Beauvoir earned a baccalaureate and studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. She had a significant influence on feminist existentialism and feminist theory, though she did not always consider herself to be a philosopher. She is best known for The Second Sex (1949), a foundational text of contemporary feminism for its analysis of women’s oppression. Focusing on the Hegelian concept of the Other, de Beauvoir asserts that it is the social construction of women as the quintessential Other that is fundamental to their oppression. Her existentialist approach to feminism further claims that one is not born a woman, but becomes one. The Second Sex presented a vocabulary for analyzing the social construction of femininity and a method for critiquing it. She became an active member of France’s women’s liberation movement and signed the “Manifesto of the 343,” along with other famous women who claimed to have had an abortion, then illegal in France. De Beauvoir revealed herself as a woman of formidable courage and integrity, whose life supported her thesis: the basic options of an individual must be made on the premises of an equal vocation for man and woman founded on a common structure of their being, independent of their sexuality.

Votairine de Cleyre (1866–1912) was a freethinking, nonsectarian anarchist who published hundreds of essays, poems, novels, and sketches and regularly delivered provocative lectures and speeches. After graduating from Catholic School de Cleyre moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she gave lectures and wrote on the subject of anticlerical free thought and became the editor of the Progressive Age. In 1888 de Cleyre immersed herself in the anarchist movement. Her essays “Why I Am an Anarchist” (1897) and “Anarchism and American Traditions” (n.d.) exemplify how she conceived of and justified anarchism: one of her main premises was that anarchism furthered the ideals of the American Revolution. De Cleyre is sometimes referred to as an anarcha-feminist because her feminist principles grew out of her anarchistic ideologies, which called for a self-development uninhibited by traditional family values and masculine domination. Essay titles like “Sex Slavery” (1890) and “The Case of Women vs. Orthodoxy” (n.d.) plainly signaled such beliefs. Between 1889 and 1910 de Cleyre lived in a Jewish community sympathetic to anarchist beliefs, where she taught English and music while learning Yiddish.
Elisabeth de Gramont (1875–1954), also known as Lily, was a French writer. A member of one of the oldest and most important French families, the Dukes of Gramont, she was called the “Red Dutchess” because of her overtly left-wing socialist views and feminist beliefs. De Gramont was one of the first females to crop her hair short, and she encouraged her friend Gertrude Stein to do the same. Years later, in a speech at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, Stein attributed her love for Paris to de Gramont. Among her publications, de Gramont wrote memoirs in which she chronicled the life of the Parisian district Faubourg St. Germain. She was also the first to translate John Keats’s poetry into French.

Tamara de Lempicka (1898–1980) was born to a wealthy family in Warsaw, Poland. In 1912 she was sent to live with relatives in St. Petersburg and fled to Paris during the Russian Revolution. In Paris she began painting, influenced by Cubism and Art Deco. She quickly became one of the most prominent portrait painters in Paris, commissioned by socialites and the aristocracy. De Lempicka was also well connected in the bohemian scene in Paris during the 1920s, and she associated with writers and artists including Colette, Vita Sackville-West, Suzy Solidor, and Violet Trefusis. Her work was displayed in many popular salons and galleries, and in 1927 she won her first award at the Exposition Internationale de Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, France. De Lempicka traveled to the United States in 1929, and in 1933 she visited Chicago where she worked with Georgia O’Keeffe. She relocated to New York City in 1943, though her popularity as a society painter had begun to dwindle. She retired from her professional life in 1962 and began traveling the world, eventually moving to Texas, and later to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where many international society figures from her European days had settled.

Agnes de Mille (1905–1993) practiced multiple forms of dance as a practice, theory, and art. Bown in New York City, she graduated at age nineteen from the University of California, Los Angeles and returned to the East Coast. A self employed dancer, she composed her own routines, arranged her own music and created her own costumes; she received critical acclaim but little financial reward. De Mille studied technique at Rambert’s Ballet Club in London. Traveling between London and New York, she choreographed Romeo and Juliet starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard. In 1940 she became a charter member of the American Ballet Company in New York and for them choreographed Black Ritual, the first musical to cast black dancers. In 1942 de Mille choreographed Rodeo for Russe de Monte to widespread fanfare. Her success led to choreography for the theater and film productions of Oklahoma! in 1945. De Mille’s reputation as a public speaker for dance and the arts was acknowledged by her appointment to the National Advisory Committee of the Arts by John F. Kennedy. Later she became a member of the National Council of the National Endowment of the Arts. As the president of the Board of Directors of the Stage Society of Dancers and Choreographers, she was the only female to head a labor union in the United States. In 1974 de Mille inaugurated the Agnes de Mille Heritage Dance Theatre as part of the North Carolina School of the Arts. She received the New York City’s Handel Medallion, the Kennedy Center Honor, an Emmy, two Tony’s, and seventeen honorary degrees. Her books include America Dances, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham, and To A Young Dancer.

Liane de Pougy (1869–1950) was a French dancer, writer, and courtesan during the Belle Époque. She glided between the aristocratic social circles, the Tout Paris (the fashionable and affluent elite in Paris), and the Tout Lesbos (the lesbian subculture in Paris), and her charm consistently captured public attention, despite the negative stereotypes associated with her role as dancer and courtesan. Her autobiography, Idylle Saphique (1901), served as a means to claim her agency by constructing her own narrative and taking ownership of how her persona was framed in the public eye. Because feminists of the Belle Époque were primarily concerned with demanding equal rights based on their contributions as wives and mothers, de Pougy’s resistance to societal demands for domestic and family responsibility—as expressed in her occupation in Tout Lesbos—excluded her from much feminist social discourse of the time. In addition to her autobiography, she wrote novels, including L’Insaisissable (1989) and Myrhille (1899), and she often performed at the Folies Bergère, Paris’s fashionable cabaret music hall.

Elsie de Wolfe (1865–1950) was a popular American interior designer and socialite. After a brief career in the theater, de Wolfe left acting in 1903 to become an interior designer, inspired by her work on sets and the staging of plays. In 1905 she was commissioned to design the interior of the Colony Club, which opened in 1907 and became the premier women’s social club. Its success brought her much recognition and popularity. Her clients included Anne Vanderbilt, Anne Morgan, Elizabeth Milbank Anderson, and Adelaide Frick, among other popular socialites. According to the New Yorker, de Wolfe practically “invented” interior design as a profession. Doing away with the 19th-century Victorian style of drab colors and dark interiors, her work featured simplicity, light, fresh colors, and a unified approach to interior spaces. In 1913 de Wolfe wrote the influential The House in Good Taste, and by that time was running a professional firm out of her offices on 5th Avenue. De Wolfe served as a volunteer nurse in France during World War I. She also practiced yoga, and was known to impress her friends by doing handstands and performing acrobatic feats.

Jay DeFeo (1929–1989) was an avant-garde painter best known for her monumental painting The Rose. DeFeo graduated with an M.A. in studio art from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1951, after which she traveled to Europe and North Africa and settled in Florence for six months. She returned to California in 1953 saturated with inspiration from Abstract Expressionism, Italian geometric architecture, arts from Africa and Asia, and prehistoric art. DeFeo’s various inspirations and influences were manifested in her mixed-media, cross-disciplinary approach, which incorporated methods of photography, collage, drawing, painting, and sculpture. The Rose is an example of DeFeo’s alternative use of material: she stated that she used so much oil paint to create the piece that in the end it resembled a sculpture. Though often associated with the Beat movement, her art was driven by her own set of ideas and artistic vision, and DeFeo did not consider herself as a Beat artist. After the completion of The Rose (1958–1966), DeFeo took an extended break. Upon her return to the arts, she felt excluded from the art world until she became a lecturer of fine art at Mills University in 1981.

Alice Antoinette Delamar (1895–1983) was a Colorado gold-mine heiress and a patron of art, ballet, and theater. Delamar was the lover and financial supporter of Eva Le Gallienne, who founded the Civic Repertory Theater with her support. Upon her death, Delamar donated millions of dollars to charities and to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Columbia Universities for medical research.

Lucie Delarue-Mardrus  (1874–1945) was a French novelist and poet. She was a prolific writer, publishing more than forty-seven novels and twelve collections of poetry. She was one of the most popular authors of the 1920s, and many of her novels began as serials in such widely read newspapers as the Journal and Revue de Paris. She was married to the translator J. C. Mardrus from 1900 to 1915, but her primary sexual orientation was toward women. She was involved in affairs with several women throughout her lifetime, and wrote extensively of lesbian love. Though much of her fiction revolves around popular heterosexual themes, The Angel and the Perverts (1930) tells the story of the hermaphrodite Mario/n and his/her forays into the gay and lesbian milieu of the 1920s. Honored by kings, sultans, painters, and poets in her seventies, Delarue-Mardrus was nonetheless unable to published at the end of her life due to Nazi censorship.

Sonja Delaunay (1885–1979), co-founder of the Orphism art movement, was born in Russia to a wealthy family. At eighteen she was sent to an art school in Germany, and she moved to Paris in 1905. Unhappy with the rigid teaching style at the Académie de la Palette, Delaunay spent more time in galleries, studying the work of the Post-Impressionists and the Fauves. Her work in this period shifted away from representation and naturalism toward geometric design and experimental use of color. In 1914 she moved to Spain and then Portugal, and with the outbreak of World War I, decided not to move back to France. The Russian Revolution helped to end the financial support Delaunay was receiving from her parents, and she started working in costume and set design to bring in income. Delaunay returned Paris permanently in 1921 and soon established her own fashion studio with clients including Lucienne Bogaert, Nancy Cunard, Gabrielle Dorziat, and Gloria Swanson. Delaunay was known for her colorful geometric abstractions on everything from cars to wall hangings, furniture, and textiles. She served on the board of the Salon des Realites Nouvelles and was named an officer in the Légion d’Honneur in 1975.

Mary Dewson (1874–1962) was a social reformer, activist, and feminist. Her first job was at the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, an important women’s club in Boston, where she helped to improve the living and working conditions of Boston’s female domestic workers. In 1900 Dewson became the superintendent of the Parole Department of the Massachusetts State Industrial School for Girls, where she studied juvenile delinquency and rehabilitation. Her work researching the living conditions of industrial workers was used as the basis for the 1912 Massachusetts Minimum Wage Act, the first such law in the country. After World War I, Florence Kelley put Dewson in charge of the National Consumers League’s national campaign for state minimum wage laws. Her success got the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt who persuaded Dewson to take various leadership roles in the New York State Democratic Party. She was a member of the President’s Committee on Economic Security, which shaped the Social Security Act of 1935. Dewson was then appointed to the Social Security board and worked to coordinate federal and state efforts toward old-age assistance and unemployment insurance.

Friedl Dicker (unknown–1944) was an Austrian artist and educator. She studied and taught textile design, bookmaking, printmaking, and typography at the Bauhaus, and was aligned with Bauhaus ideas about the utopian possibilities of progressive art and design. After leaving the Bauhaus, Dicker established the Workshops of Fine Art in Berlin with Franz Singer; together they produced book covers, textiles, children’s toys, and stage and costume designs. In 1926 Dicker and Singer moved back to Vienna and started the Atelier Singer-Dicker, moving into furniture and interior design for playrooms and schools that would to stimulate children’s intellectual curiosity. Dicker was forced to leave Vienna in 1934 for Prague, marrying her cousin to receive Czech citizenship. There she began painting and worked with the children of other political émigrés. During World War II Dicker was deported to a ghetto in Terezin where she gave art lessons and lectures to children. Before being transported to the concentration camp Birkenau, where she died in 1944, she left a suitcase full of her drawings with another teacher at the school. These drawings are now in the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague.

Marion Dickerman (1890–1983) was an American suffragist, educator, and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. Born in Westfield, New York, Dickerman earned her B.A. and graduate degree in education at Wellesley College and Syracuse University. She began teaching in Canisteo, New York, and soon moved to Fulton, New York, to teach American history at Fulton High School. There she reunited with former classmate Nancy Cook, who would become her lifelong partner. Though they fostered strong antiwar sentiments, the two women became involved in the Red Cross with the belief that World War I would be the “war to end all wars.” They traveled to London to help at the women-staffed Endell Street Military Hospital, and upon their return, Dickerman accepted a position as dean of the Trenton State College in Trenton, New Jersey. A year later she was named the vice-principal of the Todhunter School in New York. In 1922 she traveled to Hyde Park with Cook, where she met Eleanor Roosevelt. The three women struck up a friendship, and in 1927, they purchased the Todhunter School and shared the Val-Kill property. Dickerman would later sell the property to Roosevelt and move to New Canaan, Connecticut, as the educational programming director for the Marine Museum.

Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich (1901–1992) was a German-American actress and singer. Dietrich had an unusually long show business career, continually re-inventing herself for the screen. Dietrich’s portrayal of “Lola-Lola,” the seductive cabaret singer in top hat and silk stockings in The Blue Angel (1930), as a liberated woman of the world who chose her men, earned her own living, and viewed sex as a challenge, brought her international fame and a contract with Paramount Pictures. She had starring roles in Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express (1932) and Desire (1936). Dietrich successfully traded on her glamorous persona and “exotic” (to Americans) looks, becoming one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. In her personal life, Dietrich was a strong opponent of the Nazi government in Germany. She had been asked to return to Germany by Nazis in the late 1930s to make films there, but she turned them down. As a result, her films were banned in her native land. Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, and she traveled extensively throughout World War II to entertain the Allied troops. She also worked on war-bond drives and recorded anti-Nazi messages in German for broadcast.

Edith Dimock (1876–1955) was an American painter who exhibited eight of her paintings at the 1913 Armory Show: Sweat Shop Girls in the Country, Mother and Daughter, and six paintings together entitled Group. She studied at the Art Students League at the turn of the century. Lavinia Dock (1858–1956) was a nurse, activist, author, and feminist best known for her social activist work and contributions to the field of nursing education. She was the author of a four-volume history of nursing as well as Materia Medica for Nurses (1916), a book used for many years as the standard nurse’s manual of drugs. After retiring from nursing she became a member of the National Woman’s Party, where she campaigned for women’s suffrage and women’s rights. In 1917 Dock was jailed for picketing the White House during one of the group’s protests. She also campaigned for legislation to put nurses, rather than doctors, in control of their own profession. Along with Mary Adelaide Nutting and Isabel Hampton Robb, Dock co-founded the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses in the United States and Canada. The organization was the precursor of the current National League for Nursing.

Jessica Dismorr (1885–1939) was a painter and writer. She studied at the Slade School of Art, London, and in 1912 exhibited her works at the Stafford Gallery. The following year an encounter with Wyndham Lewis led to a dramatic change in her work. By spring 1914 she had become an enthusiastic member of the Rebel Art Centre, and her name appeared on the list of signatures at the end of the Vorticist manifesto in the first issue of Blast magazine. She also published poetry and prose in Blast. During World War I Dismorr served as a volunteer in France, and after the war her work became more abstract, in tune with avant-garde developments of the 1930s. She was elected a member of the London Group and showed her works with the Allied Artists Association in their abstract show in 1937.

Grace Hoadley Dodge (1856–1914) was a philanthropist and education activist. Her volunteer work at the Kitchen Garden, which taught household economy to girls from low-income backgrounds, led her to establish the Kitchen Garden Association in 1880. Along with the women working at the New York Silk Factory, Dodge formed the Women’s Society which gave classes in health, sewing, corporate dress, immigration, and the importance of equal salaries between men and women. During Dodge’s time, the society expanded to Brooklyn, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Philadelphia. Returning her focus to the Kitchen Garden Association, Dodge changed its name to the Industrial Education Association to indicate its new mission to educate both girls and boys. Dodge transformed the IEA into a teachers’ training college because she worried about the lack of skilled educators. In 1893 the organization, with its changed approach and name, became affiliated with Columbia University as the Teacher’s College. During the early 1880s Dodge was the first female commissioner of the New York school board, and in 1906 she was elected president of the board of the Young Women’s Christian Association.

Mabel Dodge (1879–1962) was an influential arts patron who helped mount the 1913 Armory Show. She was also deeply invested in political and social reform, financing the Paterson Strike Pageant at Madison Square Garden in 1913, in an effort to publicize the plight of striking silk workers in Paterson, New Jersey. Dodge’s inheritance allowed her to travel widely in Europe, where she socialized with patrons such as Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and local artists. Dodge held a weekly salon at her apartment in Greenwich Village for prominent social activists and writers often gathered. During the Armory Show in 1913, she published a pamphlet of a work by Gertrude Stein entitled Portrait of Mabel Dodge at the Villa Curonia, which earned her much public attention. Dodge moved to Taos, New Mexico, in 1919 with her husband, Maurice, and Elsie Clews Parsons, and established a literary colony there. Her connections to artists continued during her time in Taos, where she hosted Florence McClung, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Willa Cather, among others. An accomplished writer in her own right, Dodge was a syndicated columnist for the Hearst organization and wrote several books and an autobiography.

Marthe Donas (1885–1967) was an important figure in early Belgian abstraction. She fled to the Netherlands after the outbreak of World War I. She studied stained-glass making in Dublin and moved to Paris in 1916. There Donas became acquainted with Cubist painters and joined La Section d’Or. Finding it difficult to gain serious critical attention as a female painter, she often went by pseudonyms, calling herself “Tour” Donas or “Tour D’Onasky.” Donas exhibited with the Peataux Group in Paris in 1920. In spite of a growing appreciation for her work in the 1920s, Donas could not support herself as a painter. After a long hiatus, she returned to painting in 1949, and exhibited in Brussels, Antwerp, and Berlin through the ’50s and ’60s. Georgia Douglas Johnson, the author of numerous books and plays, was from a racially mixed family that included white, black, and Native American ancestors. As a young woman, she studied at Atlanta University and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Johnson is best remembered as the hostess of the influential Washington, D.C., literary salon known as the Halfway House. Her salon, she hoped, would be a “halfway” point where diverse aesthetic and political arguments could be debated, refined, and exchanged toward the development of a lively and politically relevant artistic community. Attended by friends and authors including Eulalie Spence, Anne Spencer, and Angelina Weld Grimke, her salon raised the profile of Washington, D.C., as a hub for African-American thinkers. Johnson’s own poetry, often compared to that of poet Sara Teasdale, was highly praised for its exploration of issues of race and gender, and the dual injustices of bigotry and misogyny that African- American women often faced.

Rheta Childe Dorr (1868-1948) was an American journalist, suffragist newspaper editor and activist. She is known as one of the leading female muckracking journalists during the Progressive era and as the first editor of The Suffragist. Dorr grew up in Nebraska and studied at the University of Nebraska for two years before moving to New York City in 1890 to work as a journalist. After a brief marriage in Seattle ended due to her non-traditional pursuits as a journalist, she was left to raise her young son as a single mother. Dorr returned to New York to work at the New York Evening Post where she was an investigative journalist and also wrote on women’s issues. When she realized that her activism could only go so far at that publication, she left in 1906 to travel Europe where she became interested in the international movement for women’s right to vote. After returning to the United States, Dorr became politically active with garment industry workers as well as the Women’s Trade Union League, working on issue such as the 8-hour day and the minimum wage. In 1914 she became the first editor of the Suffragist, the publication of the National Women’s Party. She went on to work as a European correspondent for the New York Evening Mail and published two books on European current events, including an account of the overthrow of the regime of Tsar Nicholas II entitled Inside the Russian Revolution, published in 1917, and The Soldier's Mother in France, published in 1918. Dorr also notably published a biography of Susan B. Anthony in 1928. Her ambitious career was slowed considerably when she was hit by a motorcycle in 1919 and her final book, on the question of prohibition, was published in 1929.

Muriel Draper (1886–1952) was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. In the 1910s Draper lived in London, and her home became a popular gathering place for artists and writers including Eleanora Duse and Gertrude Stein. After separating from her husband, Draper moved to New York in 1915, and began a new career as an interior designer, using her connections in New York society to build a business designing for wealthy clients. She wrote essays about fashion and culture for Vogue and Town and Country and became known as an expert in good taste. In 1934 she made the first of several trips to the U.S.S.R. Draper wrote articles for American magazines about Russian culture, giving detailed descriptions of ladies’ opera costumes and soldiers’ coats. Through her travels to Russia, she became increasingly interested in the “Soviet experiment” and was a founding member of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship’s Women’s Division. In the late 1940s, she helped to organize an American chapter of the Women’s International Democratic Federation. When she was investigated by the House Un- American Activities Committee, the group disbanded and Draper withdrew from political activity.

Ruth Draper (1884–1956) was an American actress, dramatist, and noted entertainer who specialized in monologues and monodrama. With a chair, shawl, and side table as her only props, Draper entertained audiences in a half-dozen languages worldwide for nearly forty years. Her best-known pieces include The Italian Lesson, Three Women and Mr. Clifford, Doctors and Diets, and A Church in Italy.

Dorothea A. Dreier (1870–1923) was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her siblings included the social reformers and suffragettes Mary E. Dreier and Margaret Dreier Robins and artist and patron Katherine Dreier. Of all the Dreier sisters, Dorothea is the least well known and there is scant information about her artistic career. In 1904 Dorothea and Katherine began studying painting and traveled abroad frequently. They made trips to museums and galleries throughout Europe and studied the works of Old Masters as well as more contemporary artists. Dreier’s later paintings depicted landscapes, both in the Netherlands and the Adirondacks, as well as New York street scenes. In 1913 Dreier contracted tuberculosis, and she convalesced at Saranac Lake, a renowned treatment center in the Adirondacks until 1916. While there she remained actively involved in the arts, continuing to paint and draw and supporting her sister Katherine’s work at the Cooperative Mural Workshop. In 1920, Dreier made a generous financial contribution toward the establishment of her sister’s organization, the Société Anonyme. In 1921 the Société hosted her first solo exhibition, the only one during her life.

Katherine S. Dreier (1887–1952) was an artist and patron. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she was one of five children and the younger sister of artist Dorothea Dreier and social reformers Margaret and Mary Dreier. She studied at the Brooklyn School of Art and the Pratt Institute. In 1917 she was the director of the Art Center in New York City. Dreier spent much time abroad between 1907 and 1914, studying painting and exhibiting her work. Once back in New York City, she co-founded the Société Anonyme in 1920, an organization that sponsored, lectures, concerts, and art exhibitions of international modernist and abstract art. With the Société, Dreier curated and installed the 1927 International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum. She collected mostly living artists and advocated for a working class and interracial audience for modern art. “We can never rise to be great people,” she said, “until we bring art back as an inherent part of life.” A large portion of Dreier’s collection was donated to the Yale University Art Museum in 1941. She advocated for the integration of avant-garde artwork with domestic life and lectured at Pratt and the New School for Social Research.

Margaret Dreier Robins (1868–1945) met the social reformer Josephine Lowell, who was the leader of the Woman’s Municipal League, in 1902. Lowell told Dreier, “the interests of the working people are of paramount importance, simply because they are the majority . . . and the indifference and ignorance and harshness felt and expressed against them by so many good people is simply awful to me and I must try and help them, if I can.” Dreier was so convinced by Lowell’s arguments that she became a member of the WML. She was introduced to members of other reform groups and in 1904 joined the Women’s Trade Union League. Other members included Jane Addams, Sophonisba Breckinridge, Margaret Haley, Helen Marot, Mary McDowell, Agnes Nestor, and Mary Kenney O’Sullivan. In 1905 Dreier heard Raymond Robins deliver a lecture on the social gospel in a Brooklyn church. They married and for a while lived at the Hull House settlement in Chicago. Dreier became a leading figure in the Women’s Trade Union League and served as its president between 1907 and 1922. She moved to Florida in 1925 and remained active in progressive politics until her death.

Mary Dreier (1875–1973) was a social reformer and philanthropist. She did not attend college and instead took classes at the New York School for Philanthropy. Dreier focused on women’s labor reform, women’s suffrage and civic improvement. She joined the New York Women’s Trade Union League with her sister Margaret, and served as its president from 1906 to 1915. During this time, the organization was active in supporting the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union and assisted them in striking activities. From 1911 to 1915, Dreier served on the New York State Factory Investigation Committee, which provided support for the factory reform legislation. She chaired New York City’s Woman Suffrage Party, advocated American-Soviet friendship, and denounced the Nazi Regime at the start of World War II. She lived with fellow reformer Frances Kellor from 1905 until Kellor’s death in 1952. Aileen Dresser was an artist who exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show.

Florence Dreyfous (1868–1950) was a New York artist who studied at the Art Students League. Her painting Mildred (c. 1910–1913) was exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show.

Gertrude Drick, an artist and poet, had come to Greenwich Village from Texas to study under painter John Sloan. She first conceived of her plan to claim Greenwich Village’s independence when she noticed a discrete door on the West pier of the Washington Square Arch. Drick had gained notoriety in the Village for her self-imposed nickname “Woe” (when asked her name she would respond “Woe is me.”), and she was a known prankster. After seeing that the door was often unattended by the resident policeman, Drick approached Sloan with a plan to hold a mock revolution, an opportunity to recapture Washington Square Park in the name of unconventionality. Drick and Sloan recruited fellow bohemians like actors Charles Ellis, Forrest Mann, and Betty Turner and artist Marcel Duchamp to join their rebellion. Together these six revolutionaries plotted their secession from the Union.

Elsie Driggs (1898-1992) was a Precisionist American painter, born in Hartford, Connecticut. She took art classes at New Rochelle Public High School and attended the Art Students League of New York under instruction from urban realists. With her industrial forms engulfed in smoke and haze she reflects Early American Modernism. Her work is associated with other artists such as Charles Sheeler, Joseph Stella, Charles Demuth, and Georgia O’Keefe. Driggs settled in New York and had her first solo exhibition at Daniel Gallery in 1929. After studying in Europe, Driggs served as a copyist and an assistant in the lecture department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where she further studied and drew from the art of the masters. In the twenties, Driggs became one of the few female members of the Precisionist movement, which championed the machine age and sought to find beauty in its progress. She is most well known for paintings such as “Pittsburgh”(1928) and “Queensborough Bridge” (1927). Driggs also exhibited in group exhibitions at the Whitney Club, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chicago Art Institute and in the Whitney Museum's first Biennial.

Suzanne Duchamp (1889–1963) was the only female visual artist to have been documented as a participant in the Dada movement in Paris. In line with Dadaist ideals, Duchamp’s artworks mocked bourgeois tastes and values and criticized the social conditions of France in the early 1920s. From January–June 1920 the public event the Salon de Indépendants consisted of salons, publications, and exhibitions that were perceived as an assault on French culture; Duchamp’s contribution to the salons and exhibitions included Un et une menacés, Multiplication brisée et rétablie, and a watercolor painting. Although Duchamp was not actively involved in feminist politics, she recognized the suffragists and birth control protests in the United States in contrast to her own surroundings where negative propaganda about birth control was prolific, abortion was felony, and women did not have the right to vote. Her self-portrait Give Me the Right Right to Life (1919) explicitly personalized her feminist standpoint and criticized women’s position in society. Maintaining an active social distance from Dadaists of the period, Duchamp and her husband, Jean Crotti, focused on their own exhibitions, one such was held at the Galerie Montalgne in the Spring of 1921 where Duchamp exhibited numerous works, among them Ariette d’oubli de la chapelle étourdie (1920).

Eleanor Dufour (1874–1946) was a dancer among the avant-garde in New York City. She was also a member of the Heterodoxy Club, a feminist debate society that met in Greenwich Village in the 1930s.

Anna Glenny Dunbar (1888–1980) was a sculptor and acted as honorary curator of sculpture at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. She was a student of Antoine Bourdelle and was responsible for bringing a solo exhibition of his work to the United States. Dunbar created the bronze bust of Walter G. Andrews, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, that stands in a congressional office building in Washington, D.C.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson  (1875–1935) was a writer and activist born to middleclass, Creole parents in New Orleans. Though less than 1 percent of Americans attended college at the time, Dunbar-Nelson graduated from Straight University in 1892. She worked in the New Orleans public school system and published her first collection of short stories and poetry, Violets and Other Tales, in 1895. She moved to New York City where she co-founded and taught at the White Rose Mission in Brooklyn. In 1906 Dunbar relocated to Wilmington, Delaware, and taught at Howard High School for over a decade. During the 1920s and ’30s she became involved in politics, campaigning for African-American and women’s rights through her journalism and activism. She began co-editing the Wilmington Advocate and published the black literary anthology The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer in 1920. In her diary, published in 1984, she discusses the discrimination she faced as a woman and African- American journalist working in the early twentieth century and covers issues such as family, sexuality, and health.

Isadora Duncan (1878–1927) was born in San Francisco, California, and is widely considered to be the mother of modern dance. Not classically trained, Duncan rebelled against the strict choreography of ballet, emphasizing natural movement and emotion. She was influenced by Greek aesthetics and narrative and regularly performed in simple Greek attire. Duncan moved to London in 1898 where she was hired for private performances. She opened her own studio in 1900 and was asked to tour with Loie Fuller in 1902. They performed across Europe, giving Duncan access to a range of dance styles and techniques. Her performances were often based on classical works of music and also used poetry and rhythms found in nature. However, Duncan disliked the commercial aspects of professional dance and focused her later work on education, opening dance schools in Germany, France, and Russia. After the Russian government failed to support her work, she left Russia and let her daughter Irma run her school. A feminist and advocate of free love, Duncan never married. She died tragically in a car accident in 1927.

Katherine Dunham (1909–2006) was interested in dance and writing from an early age. In college, Dunham studied anthropology and the African diaspora, and along with fellow anthropology student Zora Neale Hurston, she traveled to study the ethnography of dance in the Caribbean. In 1933 Dunham formed the Negro Dance Group, teaching young black dancers about their African heritage. Dunham and the group at large participated in many well-received performances and appeared in a number of Hollywood films. The Katherine Dunham School of Dance was opened in 1945 in New York City and offered classes in the performing arts, humanities, and Caribbean research. Many of her students went on to become major celebrities, including Eartha Kitt, Shirley MacLaine, and Shelley Winters. In 1963 she became the first African-American choreographer at the Metropolitan Opera since 1933, when she worked on staging dances for Aida. She retired in 1967 after a performance at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Dunham moved to East St. Louis, Missouri, and worked as an artist-in-residence at Southern Illinois University. She was also known as a social activist; she spoke openly about racial discrimination and went on a hunger strike at the age of 83 to protest U.S. policy against Haitian refugees.

Caroline Durieux (1886–1989) was an American lithographer who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She moved to New Orleans in 1930 and later led the Louisiana Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration. She taught in the art department of Louisiana State University for over twenty years and developed the technique of cliché verre (printmaking on glass) as well as electron printmaking with radioactive ink.

Eleonora Duse  (1858–1924) was an Italian actress who captivated audiences and critics. Her talent was revealed at age four when she was casted in a performance of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Then in 1873, at age fourteen, critics admired her performance of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. She moved between a number of acting companies until 1878 when her title role in Thérèse Raquin re-invited popularity. Duse became inspired by French dramatists after she saw Sarah Bernhardt perform in 1882, and began a three-year acting relationship with playwright Alexandre Dumas. The first of the numerous roles she played with Dumas was Lionette in La Princess Bagdad; in 1884 she created the title role for Denise. In 1885 Duse traveled to South America for work, and upon her return to Italy she started the Drama Company of the City of Rome, a company that toured Europe and the United States. Duse’s romantic relationship with poet Gabriele D’Annunzio flourished in 1894, and throughout their relationship she financed his career. He transcribed their love story in the novel Il Fuoco (1900). In 1909 health prevented Duse from acting, but after World War I she returned to the stage for financial reasons. She collapsed to her death on stage in Pittsburgh in 1924.

Mademoiselle Duverdier was a lender to the 1913 Armory Show.

Mabel Jacques Williamson Dwight (1875–1955) was a painter, printmaker, illustrator, and lithographer from Ohio who, at birth, was given her mother’s last name, Williamson. Dwight became well known as one of the greatest American lithographers. She was famed for her ability to create works with artistic wit and humor, satirically depicting everyday New York experiences in prints such as In the Subway (1927), Ferry Boat (1930), Derelicts (1931), and Queer Fish (1936). While completing her degree at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, Dwight was director of the Sketch Club, the first organization dedicated to female artists. After graduating, she traveled to Egypt, Java, India, and Sri Lanka, before returning to the United States in 1903 to settle in Greenwich Village. It was in 1926 during her travels to Paris that she learned lithography. During the Great Depression, her political views became more leftist and radical and her art career burgeoned. In 1932 and 1938 Dwight participated in two solo exhibitions at the Weyhe Gallery in New York. In 1933, one of her watercolor paintings was exhibited in the First Biennal Exhibition of Contemporary American Sculpture, Watercolors, and Prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.