Dorothy Markert

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There is a wonderful tribute article regarding Dorothy’s recent passing titled “Remembering Dorothy Market”, by Kate Nixon, Registration Manager/Office Manager for the 32nd National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows at the Omni Grove Park Inn, Fletcher, NC. You can read her article on their website at artsandcraftscollector.com by clicking here.

Dorothy J. Markert (American, 1932-2018) was a Master Roycroft Artisan, Emeritus, printmaker and instructor primarily known for her silkscreens of stylized flowers in Arts & Crafts pottery, as well as landscapes, winterscapes, architectural prints, pottery, fiber art pieces, stained glass, jewelry and pottery. Dorothy was born in 1932, and grew up in Kearny, NJ to Wilbur James Harvey, an engineer at General Electric, and Clara Eleanor (née Mattson) Harvey, a lifelong needleworker who took up painting late in life. Dorothy had an older brother, Norman Wilbur and a younger sister, Virginia.

Dorothy graduated from Kearny High School in 1949 and Traphagen School of Design in New York City in 1952. She also studied at the Art Students’ League in New York and worked briefly as an artist at American Girl Magazine, published by the Girl Scouts. She then worked at Bell Labs, where she was a technical illustrator, and it was there that she met her future husband John Philip Markert, an electrical engineer. They were married on Aug. 14, 1954, in the First Lutheran Church in Arlington, N.J. In 1961, Bell Telephone offered Markert a transfer to Western New York, and in early 1962 the Markerts settled into the large home on Maple Avenue in Hamburg where they lived for most of their lives. She has received numerous awards throughout Western New York for printmaking, painting, and fiber arts. After the death of her husband in October 2014, Dorothy retired form wor that following spring and was named master artist emeritus by the Roycrofters-At-Large-Association.

Dorothy exhibited widely and also taught in many settings, including at the Chautauqua Institution. She helped create the Centennial Art Center and was an active member of the Hamburg Historical Society and Hamburg Art Society. A voracious reader until the end of her life, she served as a trustee of the Hamburg Library. Dorothy passed away July 27, 2018 at the age of eight-six at her residence at Fox Run in Orchard Park, NY.


Artist Statement:

“I am self taught in screen printing and have developed many of my own techniques. As an artist and the mother of four children in the Hamburg, NY schools I was asked to make posters for the PTA. I agreed, if they would buy the materials for screen printing, I would make the posters. I bought a “how to” book and started producing. I could have had a one-man show of PTA posters. I learned a lot. Some of those posters were pretty bad. But I always had a project to do and a deadline to meet. I don't make posters any more.

When I moved to Western New York I had an immediate impression of the strong character of the buildings and of the landscape in this area. When I started using screen printing to express what I saw and felt. I found that breaking down images into areas of flat color simplified and strengthened my work. That led me to experiment–printing on different surfaces and using a variety of stencil making techniques. I printed everything, landscapes, historical architecture, portraits, nature studies, quilt blocks on fabric and traditional quilt patterns on paper as subjects for framed art. I have conducted classes and workshops all over the area, from the famous Chautauqua Institution to the Amherst Museum.

Because of my strong interest in the period, I have designed my recent work to have an “Arts and Crafts” look. My prints are often of stylized flowers in art pottery. In 1997, I was designated a Roycroft “Master Craftsman”. Most of my later work bears the Roycroft Renaissance mark, signifying quality workmanship, technical proficiency and an understanding of the Roycroft traditions of simplicity, purity of form and functional integrity.

I find screen printing a very personal way to create art. The craft, the hands on work is every bit as important and satisfying as the aesthetic vision. There is always something new to discover, whenever I am creating my own work or teaching.

I had decided sometime last year that I would not apply to use the RR Mark (Roycroft Renaissance) when I was up for review this April [2015] (Master Artisans must reapply every 5 years). I haven’t entered the Roycroft Festivals for years and I am not producing the art work that I once did. I am a life member of RALA and will always be interested and in touch with the organization. Back in October my husband of 60+ years died and within the week of his death; I had a stroke. I was hospitalized. I have tried to get back into my printmaking, the stroke left me with some visual damage and I'm still recovering. I will still be listed on the RALA web site as a Master Artisan, emeritus and know of only one other Master Artisan who was given that status.”


(Sources: the artist’s website dorothymarkert.com [now defunct as of April, 2016]; buffalonews.com, online digitized obituary listing, “Dorothy J. Markert, 86, Roycroft master artisan and well-known printmaker”, by Anne Neville, August 2, 2018.)
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