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Dorothy Brenholts Stauffer King Hay

(1901 - 1974)
A native of Iowa, Dorothy Brenholts displayed artistic talent from an early age. She studied at the University of California at San Diego from 1919 until 1922 and completed her degree (in philosophy) at Stanford. She took art classes in Los Angeles and was sufficiently accomplished to teach at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco by age 24.

Between 1926 and ’28 she pursued further art studies in France and Italy and, upon returning to the United States, at the Art Students League in New York. She married Leo Stauffer in 1929 and the couple moved to Denver where they remained for ten years.

In 1939 she came to Santa Fe, remarried to a man named King, and then moved on to El Paso. A third husband was named Joe Hay, thus her prints bear different signatures depending upon her marital status at the time (though most appear to be signed ‘Stauffer’). She moved to Tucson in 1962 and lived out the rest of her life there.

Etching was Hay’s primary medium though she executed several mural projects, including at the old Albuquerque Airport and La Fonda Hotel and the Bishop’s Lodge resort in Santa Fe. Like a number of her contemporaries Hay created numerous small ‘gift’ prints in the two by three inch range that she likely sold for only a few dollars back in the 1930s and ‘40s. She executed numerous views of Santa Fe and the pueblos along the Rio Grande and west to Acoma.

Her charming scene of Taos Pueblo features hand-coloring in watercolor, likely (though not necessarily definitively) executed by the artist herself.