Our Alumni: Adam Van Doren ’80

Artist and author Adam Van Doren published his most recent book, The House Tells the Story: Homes of the American Presidents (Godine), which includes a foreword by Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough.
The book chronicles Van Doren's visits to a number of presidential homes and features many illustrated letters Van Doren composed to McCullough. Thomas Fleming, author of The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson That Defined a Nation, said, “This is a book that transcends ordinary history on almost every page . . . I can’t think of a better way to get to know those mysterious beings we call presidents."

Van Doren’s artwork is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; The Wadsworth Atheneum; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Princeton University Art Museum; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., among other institutions. Van Doren teaches at Yale University where he is also an Associate Fellow.

Van Doren is the subject of a monograph (Hudson Hills Press, 2007) that features his watercolors of Paris, Venice, Rome, and New York, which includes essays by Avis Berman, Samuel G. White and Richard Boyle. In 2009, the book An Artist in Rome was published (Kelly-Winterton Press) in collaboration with the noted poet John Tagliabue, and features Van Doren’s paintings from when Van Doren was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. Two catalogs have been published (The Renaissance Studios, New York) of Van Doren’s paintings with essays by Mark D. Mitchell, Holcolmb Green Curator of American Art at Yale University; and Patricia Hickson, Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. A recent publication, A Yale Sketchbook (Yale University, Lustman Fellowship Fund), includes Van Doren’s paintings of the architecture of the campus and contains essays by Pulitzer Prize winning critic Paul Goldberger and former New York magazine critic Carter Wiseman.

Van Doren is a graduate of Columbia University and has published An Artist in Venice (Godine 2013), with commentary by Simon Winchester and Theodore Rabb; and essays in American Artist Magazine and The New York Times, among others. He has written and directed two documentaries about the arts which were broadcast on PBS and cable television: James Thurber: The Life and Hard Times, narrated by George Plimpton, which was awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities; and Top Hat and Tales: Harold Ross and the Making of The New Yorker, narrated by Stanley Tucci.
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North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.