Life’s Pioneer Painters: Dorothy Seiberling and American Art in Life Magazine, 1949–1968

  • Melissa Renn


The majority of studies on Life tend either to treat the magazine as a monolithic entity or equate it solely with editor Henry R. Luce, often overlooking the individual contributions made by the magazine’s diverse staff of editors, journalists, photographers, and researchers. This chapter focuses on Life art editor Dorothy Seiberling’s key articles on American artists—from Jackson Pollock to Georgia O’Keeffe—and how they shaped the reception of the avant-garde in the postwar period.



Thank you to the Society for the Preservation of American Modernists for a generous publication grant for this chapter. A special thanks to Dorothy Seiberling; Helen Harrison; Marisa Bourgoin, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Tara Craig, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University; Nancy Kuhl and staff, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University; and the staff at the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina for their help with my research. Thank you also to Wanda Corn, Rachel Esner, Betsy Fahlman, Sandra Kisters, Michael Komanecky, Nancy Renn, Sheila Schwartz, Nancy J. Scott, and Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., for their comments on earlier versions of this essay, and to Patricia Hills for connecting me to Dorothy Seiberling.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Renn
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Business SchoolBostonUSA

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