Dolya Goutman was an artist, set designer and art professor, based in Philadelphia for most of his life. Goutman’s childhood was mainly spent in exile in Europe, after his father, a prosperous Russian businessman, lost his business in the aftermath of the Revolution. Arriving with his family in the U.S. at age 16, he attended art school and eventually received a bachelor of fine arts degree at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was awarded a $2,500 traveling fellowship. He used the money to relocate to California, where he found work at Paramount Studios, eventually becoming art director. His notable set designs include the murals for the film biography of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence. After World War II, Goutman worked for the State Department where he helped develop art therapy treatments for traumatized combat veterans in military hospitals.
The experience made Hollywood seem comparatively trivial, and he returned to school to earn a master of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania and become an art professor. He was well suited to his new career, by virtue of his warm personality and ability to articulate his insights about the artistic process. He served as head of the painting department of Moore College of Art, and was still teaching there at age 75. His works are in museum collections such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, as well as in the collection of the White House in Washington, D.C.
McCraw, Fred. “Dolya Goutman.” AskArt.com. http://www.askart.com/biography.asp?ID=123479 (25 March 2005).
Who’s Who in American Art 1989-90. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1989. p. 403.