Painter and printmaker Doris Lee was born in Aledo, Illinois. She studied at Rockford College and with the American impressionist Ernest Lawson at the Kansas City Art Institute. After continuing her studies in France and Italy, she returned to the United States in 1930 and attended the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
Although Lee's earliest works were abstract, she soon developed a whimsical realistic style, portraying country life and family celebrations. The cheerful mood of Along the Waterway, in which the abstracted trees seem to dance above the water, is typical of much of her work.
As a Works Progress Administration artist during the 1930s, Lee painted a mural in the Main Post Office in Washington, DC. She taught at Michigan State University and Colorado Springs Fine Art Center and also worked as a book illustrator.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion program to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art. Produced by the Department of Education Resources, this teaching resource is one of the Gallery's free-loan educational programs.]