Worcester Women's History Project

Mechanics Hall Portraits

Dorothea Lynde Dix

Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887) was the granddaughter of Elijah Dix, a prominent Boston physician and Dorothy (Lynde) Dix of a leading Worcester family. Born in Hampden, Maine, she was a humanitarian crusader for the mentally ill, superintendent of army nurses during the Civil War, friend and protegee of William Ellery Channing, the Unitarian leader. Her impassioned report to the Massachusetts legislature on the plight of the insane eventually resulted in the expansion of the medical facilities in Worcester to accommodate the state's mentally ill, known today as Worcester State Hospital. This was the beginning of a nationwide change in the treatment and housing of the mentally ill.

About the Artist: The portrait of Dorothea Lynde Dix is painted by Susan Murray Stokes. Ms. Stokes was born in Bournemouth, England, and raised and educated in India and Sri Lanka. She studied in New York at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. She was a member of R.H. Ives Gammell's atelier in Boston. Her awards include the John Singleton Copley Award from the Copley Society (1981), the Copley Society Master Award (1984), and the Grumbacher Gold Medal Award (1997) from the Guild of Boston Artists. Susan Stokes currently resides in Newbury, Massachusetts. Her works are in collections throughout the area. She is represented by agents in England and the Northeastern United States, and by the Francesca Anderson Gallery in Lexington, Massachusetts.


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