Doris Porter Caesar was born in 1892 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father’s successful career as a lawyer allowed her to attend Miss Chapin’s School for transferring to the prestigious Spence School in New York City. At age 16, Caesar supplemented her studies at the Art Students League. After marrying in 1913, Caesar put her artistic ambitions on hold while she raised her three children. In 1925, she resumed artistic pursuits, studying with the pioneering cubist, Alexander Archipenko. Her tutelage under Archipenko allowed her to reemerge as a sculptor, and she exhibited her first bronze piece in 1927. The exhibitor and dealer, E. Weyhe, ran a bookstore and art gallery on Lexington Avenue. Weyhe’s personal collection of works by Wilhelm Barlach, Ernst Lehmbruck, and Käthe Kollwitz, and his enthusiasm for German Expressionism influenced Caesar to develop her own Expressionistic style. She abandoned classical forms and distorted her figures until they were almost “stick-like” in appearance. Her work became progressively distorted. In many of her finished bronzes, her unsmoothed thumb marks remain, imprinted during the clay sculpting process.
Arts Students League New York, New York
1931: First solo exhibition at the Montross Gallery in New York City
1934: Solo exhibition at the Montross Gallery
1935: Solo exhibition at the E. Weyhe Bookshop and Gallery, New York City
1943: Exhibition by Curt Valentin, New York City
1957: Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum, New York City
1959: "Four American Expressionists," Whitney Museum, New York City