In Memoriam: Dorothy Lichtenstein (1939–2024)

July 11, 2024


Dorothy Lichtenstein, president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, strikes a pose near the self-portrait painted by her late husband Roy Lichtenstein, Self-Portrait at an Easel, c. 1951–1952. Photo by J Caldwell.

It is with great sadness that the Colby College Museum of Art and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University learned of the passing of Dorothy Lichtenstein. Dorothy was a shining light in the art world, serving as President of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and helping to further the legacy of her late husband’s work. Beyond this, however, Dorothy was broadly supportive of the arts including organizations such as the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and, closer to home, as a Life Trustee at the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, among many other causes.

When the Colby Museum and the Nasher Museum began to organize Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960, the first survey of Roy Lichtenstein’s pre-Pop work, Dorothy was immediately enthusiastic and supportive. In conversations with the curators, she provided insight into Roy Lichtenstein’s life through personal and sometimes intimate anecdotes that brought a much richer understanding to the artist’s work. She was a quick wit with a wonderful sense of humor and a steadfast belief in an expansive engagement with Lichtenstein’s work. Her legacy will live on through all of the projects she and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation have supported over the years. 

Dorothy brought grace, kindness, and vision to the work of the Lichtenstein Foundation. The platform she created for one extraordinary artist was inquisitive, innovative, and field changing. She will be greatly missed and we will continue to learn from the pathways she and the foundation forged.

—Beth Finch, Head Curator, Colby College Museum of Art

Dorothy was so welcoming when Beth Finch and I visited with her in New Yor City and Southampton. She was a gracious host and was immensely supportive of our exhibition. I will always remember her vivaciousness and wonderful sense of humor.

—Marshall N. Price, Chief Curator and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University