Dorothy Hood (1918–2000)


Dorothy Hood led an adventurous life.  Born in Bryan, Texas in 1918 and raised in Houston, she won a scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design and went on to study at the Art Students League in New York.


She drove a roadster to Mexico City with friends in 1941 for a two-week tour and ended up staying for almost 20 years, falling in love with the country and its intellectual climate and aesthetic.


Hood was front and center in the cultural, political, and social activity of Mexico and Latin America during a period of intense creative ferment.  She developed close friendships with all the European exiles, Latin American surrealists, and Mexican social realists of the time -- artists, composers, poets, playwrights, and revolutionary writers who influenced her art.


In 1945, Dorothy married famous Bolivian composer José María Velasco Maidana and they traveled the world.  It was upon returning to Houston in 1961, however, that Hood produced the epic paintings that evoked the limitless skies and psychic voids of space, years ahead of NASA images.


Over the next four decades, she became a renowned and highly collected Texas painter whose art is spread across the United States. Her works are included in more than 30 major museums throughout the United States, as well as the collections of many individuals, corporations and foundations.  After her death in 2000, the Art Museum of South Texas acquired a large portion of her estate including paintings, collages, drawings, prints, the contents of her studio and personal memorabilia.