Dorothea Tanning (born August 25, 1910) is an American painter, printmaker, sculptor and writer. She has also designed sets and costumes for ballet and theatre. Dorothea Tanning was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She attended Knox College there from 1928-30 before living for several years in Chicago. In 1935, Tanning moved to New York, where she discovered Dada and Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art’s seminal exhibition, Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism, in 1936. By the early 1940s, Tanning was working on her own surreal paintings while she supporting herself as a commercial artist. Impressed by her creativity and talent in illustrating fashion advertisements, the art director at Macy’s department store introduced her in 1941 to the gallery owner Julien Levy, who immediately offered to show her work. Levy later gave Tanning two one-person exhibitions (in 1944 and 1948), and also introduced Tanning to the circle of émigré Surrealists whose work he was showing in his New York gallery, including the German painter Max Ernst. As she recounts in her memoirs, Birthday and Between Lives, when Ernst visited her studio in 1942, they played chess, fell in love, and embarked on a life together that soon took them to Sedona, Arizona, and later to France. She married Ernst in 1946, in a double wedding with Man Ray and Juliet Browner.
Muse – Dorothea Tanning