Mary Ellen Green Dohrs, one of the first women in car design, has passed away.
Mary Ellen Green Dohrs, one of the first women in car design, died at the age of 92.
Dohrs graduated from the Pratt Institute in New York and joined General Motors in 1950. At the age of 20, she is the youngest designer in history to work for a car maker and one of the first women to design a car.
Her tenure preceded The Damsels of Design, an all-female design team hired by then-styling chief Harley Earl.
She worked on the pleated leather seats found in the 1950 Cadillac Convertible and the interior of the 1950 Series 62 Convertible, creating interiors for GM show cars and specialty cars for critical customers.
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At the 2019 Women In Design conference, Dohrs said, “Unless the writer appears in front of others as a male designer, I resist calling me and my type of female designer.” I didn’t like being defined by the gender of the designer.
In a statement, GM said:
“That choice and her subsequent work has contributed significantly to the pioneering spirit that drives the company. The ongoing expansion of the new GM Design Center hopes that her spirit will live up to future generations of designers. , Will house one of her sculptures. “
After working for GM, Dohrs worked at Sundberg-Ferar, designing the award-winning interiors of the 1955 Packard Caribbean and undertaking projects at Samsonite, Whirlpool and IBM.
Later, Dole pursued an interest in watercolors, pens and inks, and sculpture, and was also an art teacher. She died in West Palm Beach, Florida, after a short stay in hospice care.