Dorothy Sherwood, Beverly Hills Cultural Leader, Dies At Age 86
Posted Friday, November 9, 2018 - 4:59 pm
By John L. Seitz
Dorothy “Dee” Sherwood, who helped build and strengthen many of the area’s cultural institutions for more than six decades, died yesterday at her Beverly Hills home. She was 86.
She grew up in Omaha, but moved to California at age 11, graduating from Beverly Hills High School (Class of 1948), where she won the Faculty Scholarship Cup, the top academic prize for seniors. She attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts and earned a degree in English and Art History.
In 1953, she married her high school sweetheart, “Dick” Sherwood, who graduated from Yale and Harvard Law School. The couple lived in Washington, D.C. while her husband served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.
After his clerkship, they moved back to Los Angeles, where her husband joined the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers, and became that firm’s first Jewish partner since the 1900s.
The Sherwoods avidly toured museums and art galleries together, and their art collection spanned many countries and genres, including early works by Balthus, Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Stella and David Hockney.
Dorothy Sherwood served as president of the Art Museum Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and became a member of the International Council of Modern Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
After her husband’s death, she established the Richard E. Sherwood Award for emerging theater artists at the Center Theatre Group of the L.A. Music Center and was actively involved in selecting recipients of this prestigious annual prize.
She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall (Jeffrey) of Piedmont, and her son Benjamin B. Sherwood (Karen), president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, (the first sister-brother recipients of Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford University), plus four grandsons, Richard and William Randall, and Charles and William Sherwood.
The family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Dorothy and Richard Sherwood Award at the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.