Between Two Worlds: Nell Dorr

As a child, Nell Becker Dorr (1893–1988) learned the art of photography in her father’s studio just steps from the current location of the Massillon Museum. She matched those darkroom skills with her innate sense of artistry to earn international recognition.

The photographer first gained notice for her 1934 exhibition at Delphic Studios in New York City, Famous Men, which included images of Carl Sandburg and the man who would become her husband, inventor John Van Nostrand Dorr. Her lifelong dear friend, the actress Lillian Gish, provided entree into the world of well-known individuals.

The other side of Dorr’s artwork features more imaginary settings, children as fairy-like creatures in beautiful natural settings—sometimes mangrove swamps in Florida, other times New England woodlands. Later she created abstract photograms in her darkroom, creating imaginary scenes sometimes with just the light of a kitchen match to expose the images.

To learn more about renting this exhibit, please email Executive Director Alexandra Nicholis Coon.

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