Dorothy S. Norman

  • 1905 - 1997
  • Photographer
  • American

As a writer, activist, and photographer, Dorothy Norman championed liberal causes and artistic expression. In 1927, Norman met the pioneering American photographer Alfred Stieglitz at his New York gallery. Shortly thereafter, the two became lovers. As her mentor, Stieglitz encouraged Norman's interest in taking photographs. Norman was a vital presence at Stieglitz's third and final gallery, An American Place, where she oversaw the gallery's operations. She frequently made photographs of Stieglitz and the avant-garde artists and intellectuals the couple associated with, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Indira Gandhi and Richard Wright.

Norman's interests came together and were expounded in her publication, Twice a Year-A Semi-Annual Journal of Literature, the Arts and Civil Liberties. In this periodical, published between 1938 and 1948, she printed reproductions of photographs alongside articles replete with social commentary and criticism. Racial discrimination in America, Supreme Court decisions, and Nazi medical atrocities were a few of the topics covered in the journal. Norman spent much of her later life studying religion and philosophy, and working to improve social conditions in India.