skip to content

Dorothy Antoinette LaSelleDorothy Antoinette (Toni) LaSelle was born in Beatrice, NE, in 1901. She earned a BA from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1923 and an MA from the University of Chicago in 1926. After temporary positions at Stephens College in Missouri, she traveled to Europe spending six months in study in England, Italy, and France and returned to Europe many times in her life. What started as a temporary position at TSCW in 1928 turned into a full time position when she became responsible for development of the art history program. She remained at TSCW/TWU until her retirement in 1972.

LaSelle may be most noted for directing the design of the stained glass windows, light fixtures, altar pieces, and rugs in the TWU Little Chapel in the Woods designed by architect O'Neill Ford. The project was dedicated in 1939 by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Because of challenges in getting building materials during World War II, the building was actually not completed until 1946.

During work on the TWU chapel, LaSelle became interested in the work of Moholy-Nagy and brought him to TWU to lecture in 1942. She also studied with Moholy-Nagy in chicago at the Institute of Design. While on sabbatical studying in San Francisco, she became interested in the work of Hans Hofmann, and in 1944, she enrolled in Hofmann's summer school in Provincetown, MA. After that time, she alternated between living part of the year in Denton and part of the year at the artists' colony where she first went to study with Hans Hofmann.

In 1950, Ms. LaSelle had a solo exhibition at the Rose Fried Gallery in New York City. Solo and invitational exhibitions included the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, the Fort Worth Art Museum, and Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art. Gallery exhibitions included Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas; Smith Gallery, Dallas; and galleries in Houston; Provincetown Ma, and Copenhagen, Denmark. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Dllas Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and many others.

A local example of her design work is the crushed laminated stained glass at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Denton.

LaSelle died in Denton in 2002 at the age of 100; she had continued to paint until about ten years before her death.

Provincetown After Oslo #7
Provincetown After Oslo #7, 1961
watercolor on paper
Courtesy of Barry Whistler Gallery

Sea Wind Hums Outside My Aerie
Sea Wind Hums Outside My Aerie, 1972
acrylic
Courtesy of Texas Woman's University

page last updated 7/13/2017 3:24 PM