Dorothy Koppelman


Dorothy Koppelman

DOROTHY KOPPELMAN (1920-2017) painter, became the founding director of the Terrain Gallery in 1955, and is a consultant on the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation. She has shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and at the Atlantic Gallery. Her work is in museum collections, among them the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Recipient of a Tiffany Grant, she is a member of the American Society of Contemporary Artists. She has taught at the National Academy School of Art. The papers and sketchbooks of Dorothy and Chaim Koppelman are in the Archives of American Art.

She writes this about her early study of Aesthetic Realism and how it led to the 1955 opening of the Terrain Gallery:

"After more than ten years of study, which included, in addition to attending Mr. Siegel‘s lectures on the poetry of the world, varied lectures on literature—English, French, etc.; and the lives of authors—(consider his brilliant literary achievement of explaining the meaning of all of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets!)—as well as in-depth study of the relation of art and life, first stated by Mr. Siegel as “The resolution of conflict in self is like the making one of opposites in art,” I came to have a conviction and an impelling emotion. I saw Aesthetic Realism as true about art, about my own life, and about the lives and work of artists I knew and read about.

"I also saw in the circumstances of [his] weekly lectures, lessons of my own and others, personal and friendly meetings on various occasions, a person, a teacher, a man who, in every situation was always honest, always true to his own philosophy. He did not flatter, he did not pander, he did not compromise. He rated the desire to know, the desire to see, the achievement of that seeing and knowing as true success.

"Seeing Eli Siegel's desire to know a person, any person, was the deepest and most beautiful experience in my life. In Aesthetic Realism lessons, which were cultural events based on the Socratic question and answer method, and to which many persons were invited as participants or guests, there was “the aesthetic criticism of self.”

"I was understood. And that understanding included my purpose, and the direction of my life’s ambition as an artist.

"With the encouragement and support of my colleagues—poets, artists, and intellectuals in various fields—I decided to open what came to be called the Terrain Gallery, where Aesthetic Realism in its variety and scope could be presented to the public.

"I had seen that the basic structure of opposites was the foundation not only of the visual arts but was a new and unprecedented means of relation of all the arts and humanities. I saw that the principles of Aesthetic Realism were indisputably true.

"The Terrain Gallery opened in 1955 with the publication of the great 15 Questions, Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites? and exhibitions and public presentations essentially based on these true-seeing-of-art-and-beauty–in–the-world questions continue to this day. Much has happened in these fifty years; and every event in my varied life, and in the events of the world has solidified and widened my conviction. I believe that it is every person’s ambition to be able to find something in the outside world we can wholeheartedly respect intellectually and count on. That has been my life’s good fortune."

A further and detailed account of her career can be found in the dated lists below as well as in the biographical listings noted.

Contact information:
Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman Foundation:


2017-2018  "The Value of Objects: Double Prints by Dorothy and Chaim Koppelman," Terrain Gallery

2010-2011 "Painting Matters" - Group show of 9 contemporary painters. Terrain Gallery

2007-2001 Atlantic Gallery Group Exhibitions; American Society of Contemporary Artists (ASCA) Annuals; New York Artists Equity Association (NYAEA) Invitationals

2006 "Day for Night," Whitney Biennial 2006 Peace Tower (Whitney Musem, New York NY)

2004 Atlantic Gallery Group Exhibition (New York, NY)

2001, '02, '03 Atlantic Gallery, two and three person exhibitions; ASCA Annual exhibitions; NYAEA Invitationals

200l Sarah Lawrence Gallery Invitational

2000 l75th Annual Juried Exhibition, National Academy of Design; Four-person show at Beatrice Conde Gallery, NYC

l999 Two-person show, Atlantic Gallery; ASCA Exhibition, Broome Street Gallery

l999 ('98, '97) Mini Print travelling exhibitions, Art Gallery of Binghamton, NY

l998-97 American Society of Contemporary Artists; Atlantic Gallery; Audubon Juried Annuals, NYC

l996 Personal Visions, Chuck Levitan Gallery, NYC; Small Works Show, Washington Square Gallery, NYC

l995 Contemplating Cubism, American Prints, Susan Teller Gallery,

l994-l995 Audubon Artists Annual print exhibition;

l993 Cadavre Exquis, Drawing Center, NYC; Water Towers of New York City, Susan Teller Gallery

l992 l65th Juried Biennial, National Academy of Design, Small Works Show, Washington Square East Gallery; Juried Annual, Allied Artists of America; A Grand Tour, Swiss Institute

l99l, l990, l989 Annual exhibitions, Hudson Guild, NYC

l986 l6lst Juried Biennial, National Academy of Design, NYC

l985 Woman/Self/Artist, Group exhibition, Terrain Gallery

l982-l967 Numerous group exhibitions; anti-Vietnam war exhibitions; March, Nonagon Galleries; D'Aenlle Gallery

l978 Mini-Print, postcard exhibition, P.S.l, Long Island City

l969 Two-man exhibition with Chaim Koppelman, Terrain Gallery

l965 Group Exhibition, Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, Ohio

l962 Group exhibitions: Brooklyn Museum; Jersey City Museum; Riverside Museum; Pratt Graphics Travelling exhibition; Prints included in Artist's Proof

l962 Recent Painting, USA: The Figure Museum of Modern Art, NYC; travelling to San Francisco Museum of Art; Columbus Gallery of Fine Art; Walker Art Center; Baltimore Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center; City Art Museum of St. Louis--Painting,"The Grip" reproduced in catalogue for exhibition, and in Emily Genauer review of exhibition in Herald Tribune.

l96l One-man exhibition, Terrain Gallery

REVIEWS: "...Intensity of response characterizes each picture....By itself it has no power to make a picture good or bad. The fact that they are good as well as moving depends on the vitality of her touch and the strength of her color, both of which are out of the ordinary." -- S.Preston, NYTimes, l96l

"There is none of that collusion in suffering one often finds implicit elsewhere....Mrs. Koppelman [is] her own painterly mistress, well at ease." Art News, l96l

l960 Four-man exhibition, Hudson Guild Gallery, NYC

l959-l955 Recent Painting, USA, Madison Square Garden; Group Exhibitions: Hansa, l0th Street Gallery, Intersection '55, Terrain Gallery, NYC; One-man show, Rina Gallery, N.J. etc.

Awards and Collections

l999 Award for painting, American Society of Contemporary Artists

l996 Award for painting, American Society of Contemporary Artists Annual exhibition

l965 Tiffany Grant for painting

l957 Honorable Mention, City Center, Brooklyn Society of Artists

Collections : Hampton University,W. Va.; Yale University Art Collection; Gates Collection; Rosenzweig Museum, Durham,N.C.; Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia; Washington County Museum of Art, Hagerstown, Maryland; Library of Congress, New York Historical Society


Brooklyn College; American Artists School with Joseph Solman; Art Students League; Aesthetic Realism with founder, Eli Siegel; and with Chairman of Education Ellen Reiss

Associations and Educational Affiliations

1993-2017 New York Artists Equity; American Society of Contemporary Artists

1988-89; 1996; 1998 Faculty, National Academy School of Fine Art

1984 – 2017 Coordinator, Terrain Gallery

1972-1984 Co-Director, Terrain Gallery

1972 - 2017 Faculty, Aesthetic Realism Foundation

196I-1962 Director, Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, NYC

1955-1972 Director, Terrain Gallery

See listings in: Who's Who in American Art; Who's Who in America; Who's Who of American Women; Great Women of the Twentieth Century; Notable American Women; Who' s Who in the World; Advisory Council; International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England

Publications & Lectures

2008 The Artists Proof, New York Artists Equity journal, Fall, 2008 issue; Article including sections of "The Frescoes of Piero della Francesca: Their Meaning for People Now,"

2007 Guest Lecturer at the Fondazione Piero della Francesca, Sansepolcro, Italy

2003 31st World Congress of the International Society for Education Through Art (InSEA): presentation with co-author Carrie Wilson, “Aesthetic Realism Shows How Art Answers the Questions of Your Life.” Published in International Conversations Through Art, Teachers College, Columbia University

2002 Illustrator, Children's Guide to Parents and Other Matters by Eli Siegel. Definition Press, 2nd Edition.

2000 Poems and Prints, Artist's Folio in limited signed edition

l999 "Aesthetic Realism and Picasso's Guernica: For Life," Tennessee Tribune; "Opposites Are Picasso’s 'Man With a Lamb,'" ASCA Newsletter

l97l Illustrator, Children's Guide to Parents and Other Matters by Eli Siegel. Definition Press.

1962 Recent Painting, USA: The Figure, Museum of Modern Art catalogue reproduced The Grip

Reviewer of Exhibitions for Washington Independent

Aesthetic Realism Seminars on Van Gogh, Whistler, Turner, Courbet, Cassatt, Hopper, Pollock, Chardin.

l969 Aesthetic Realism: We Have Been There, co-author with six artists and actors, Definition Press

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