Dorothy Johnstone lived from 25 December 1892 to 15 July 1980. She was an artist and art teacher. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Dorothy Johnstone was born in Edinburgh, the daughter of the artist George Johnstone and Jessie Heron. At the age of 16 in 1908 she became a student at the Edinburgh College of Art, studying drawing and painting. She graduated in 1912, showing such promise that she was given the use of a studio at the college. In the same year she had her first work exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy and the following year exhibited one of her finest early works, a painting of her sister entitled "Marguerite". In 1914 she became a member of staff at the Edinburgh College of Art.
From the summer of 1915, Dorothy became a regular annual visitor to Kirkcudbright in Galloway, where she would paint among a number of other artists, largely female during the war. These included Jessie King. In 1919 Dorothy became a member of the re-formed "Edinburgh Group" of artists. In 1924, perhaps the peak year of her artistic career, she mounted a joint exhibition in Edinburgh with fellow artist Cecile Watson.
Also in 1924, Dorothy married another Edinburgh artist, David Sutherland. She continued her portrait painting after her marriage, but gave up her highly promising career as a member of staff at the Edinburgh College of Art. She had a son in 1925 and a daughter in 1928 and moved with her family to Aberdeen in 1933 when David Sutherland was appointed Principal of Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, now part of Robert Gordon University.
Dorothy continued to paint, still exhibiting at the age of 70 in 1962, the year in which she was also made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy. She returned to Kirkcudbright in 1974 at the age of 82, and made a number of further visits before her death in 1980.
This biography draws on research first published in "The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women".