Power Net from The Dorothy Series by June Wayne

June Wayne created the series’ 20 lithographs in collaboration with Ed Hamilton of Hamilton Press. Choosing among her mother’s possessions—photographs, newspaper articles, tax returns—and using a rich array of colors, Wayne conveys the challenges and successes her mother faced as an immigrant and female in the early part of the 1900s.

“Wayne’s poignant portrayal of her mother’s life in 20 freeze frames compels us to consider the lives of women in the earlier part of the 20th century. Dorothy’s decisions were not always hers to make alone, but in accordance with society’s conservative expectations of a divorced mother, a woman with a career, and an immigrant,” said NMWA Chief Curator Dr. Jordana Pomeroy who organized the exhibition.

By examining the dualities of her mother’s experience—tradition and progress, domesticity and vocation, marriage and divorce, ambition and lack of recognition—Wayne is able to present a portrait that promises to be familiar to many.


The biography of both artist and subject are closely intertwined. The Dorothy of the portfolio’s title faced many hardships as an immigrant, single mother, and career woman. Her tenacity has evidently been passed down to her daughter June, whose list of accomplishments include participating in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Easel Project in Chicago during the 1930s and founding the prestigious Tamarind Lithography Workshop 1960 in Los Angeles to train master printers.

At the heart of the series, Wayne explores a central question “Could my personal view of her [Dorothy] allow her voice to come through, just as writers tell stories in the voice of another person?” On display through the summer, viewers can decide for themselves how these two remarkable narratives interact.
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Imported from: pafa.org
Media: print