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Art Is Alive: Opening of the Dorothy E. Yepez papers

by Felicia D. Render

Dorothy E. Yepez, circa 1950
Dorothy E. Yepez, circa 1950

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Dorothy E. Yepez papers! Dorothy E. Yepez (1916-1999) was an artist, gallery owner, former nurse and teacher of violin and piano. She owned Dorothy Yepez Galleries for fifteen years in Saranac Lake, New York; and also worked in the area of children’s theater in New York City during the mid-1960s. Her personal papers are one of the sixteen (16) collections representing African American women leaders in a variety of fields, and are part of the grant project, “A Range of Experiences: Documenting African American Women’s History and Achievements.” Yepez’s archival papers are now available for research, preserved with funding assistance from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

One can find a diverse range of creative art activities and ideas documented within Yepez’s papers. A significant portion of the papers are Exhibition files, which consist of correspondence, programs, exhibition schedules, biographical sketches of artists who exhibited at the Dorothy Yepez Galleries, and advertisements and publicity notices of hosted events from exhibitions held at the galleries. During the 1962 season, the galleries hosted a series of art exhibitions, including the 9th Adirondack Annual Open Show; 4th National Competitive Show for Youth; an invitation show titled “Salute to America”; 4th Annual Musical Festival; music clinics and workshops; and the popular Photography Magazine international prize winners in color and black and white prints.

Brochure of Eighth Annual Adirondack Exhibition, Dorothy Yepez Galleries, circa 1961
Brochure of Eighth Annual Adirondack Exhibition, Dorothy Yepez Galleries, circa 1961

As an artist, Yepez created batik paintings and exhibited her artwork at her galleries. Her work also appeared in galleries of several banks in New York during the 1970s. In 1973, Yepez appeared on Black America: What Now?, a broadcast program concerning community affairs from the WKBS-TV news station. Her expression of skills as an artist is reflected in the correspondence, programs, flyers and hand script notes preserved in the collection.

In all, the papers are extremely rich on the subjects of art, Black history, education and the business documentation of Yepez’s career, with collected files from her art gallery and social activities. Her papers offer a broad perspective aimed at providing awareness of a woman within the arts field and highlight a fascinating life of a Black woman entrepreneur.

To access the Dorothy E. Yepez papers, click To access a previous blog post about Dorothy Yepez, click here.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MH-245560-OMS-20]. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this blog post do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

If you would like to support the funding of ARC’s Women’s Project please donate via Amistad’s Network for Good.


Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.


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