denmark finland iceland norway sweden
Dorothy Kleppen McCall
Dorothy Kleppen McCall
Independent Art Historian
dorothy kleppen mccall

Both my parents were Norwegian immigrants who met in Chicago at a dance. My father worked at the Butterfield Country Club in Chicago, a beautiful Tudor building which was my first playground. I moved to Seattle when I was six and remember having a picnic lunch the first day at the Golden Gardens where we could see the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. It was a beautiful sight with salty smells that I shall never forget. After my confirmation at the Ballard Lutheran Church, my maternal grandparents brought me back to Minneapolis to meet my family there and in Chicago. My grandmother took me to the Chicago Art Museum, where I had my first museum experience. It was there that I saw my first Mary Cassatt painting which became my point of reference for all art.

We all need inspiration and often look afar when what we need is really quite near. Art is about people, places and possibilities. Often art reveals, predicts or leads individuals into their first steps into the unknown. Art enhances and reinforces our life experiences while honoring those who came before us. Art provides a forum in which strangers recognize each others' differences and commonalities. By sharing artistic insights, people exchange understanding, humor and respect.


Dorothy Kleppen McCall received her B.A. in English and Art History in 1979 and her M.A. in Humanities and Art History in 1987, both from Mills College, Oakland, CA. She wrote her Master's thesis on "The Romantic Motifs in the Life and Works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh," an artist from Glasgow, Scotland. She traveled to England, Vienna, Budapest and Collioure, France, to do her research.

In 1994, she received her first grant to study Norwegian art in connection with the immigration experience. She gave a lecture, "On the Wall, In the Mind and Thru the Heart" on board the Queen Elizabeth II as part of a European museum conference, a lecture she later delivered at the Ellis Island Conference Center and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She received grants in 1995 and l996 to attend University of Oslo summer school and studied under Dr. Reider Dittman at St. Olaf's University in Northfield, MN. In 1998, she received a grant to study Swedish women artists for one month and attended the opening of the Karin and Carl Larsson exhibit in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2000, she received the Hedgebrook writing award, living on Whidbey Island, WA, for one month. She published a short story, "A Confirmation Tale" the following year.

McCall has been a docent at the de Young Art Museum, San Francisco, for 25 years. She has an extensive list of lectures which she has given over the years at cultural events, colleges and community schools.

Please click here for Curriculum Vitae

Dorothy Kleppen McCall

phone: 510-834-9760