Doris "Doc" Marie Leeper, 1956


Dublin Core


Doris "Doc" Marie Leeper, 1956

Alternative Title

Doris Leeper


Leeper, Doris, 1929-2000
Art--Southern States
Painters--Southern States
New Smyrna Beach (Fla.)


Doris Marie Leeper in her studio in 1956. Known to many as "Doc," Leeper was a trailblazing abstract painter and sculptor based in Eldora, Florida, near New Smyrna Beach. Originally from North Carolina, Leeper found an artistic oasis in Central Florida. The region provided her with the space to buy a house and work in relative isolation, but also augmented her interest in natural preservation. Today, the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve remains a testament to her environmental dedication. Leeper’s impact on Central Florida also became apparent through her support for institutions; for example, she was a founder of the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach. Leeper’s local legacy manifests itself most profoundly through her artistic production. Her bold lines, strong color palette, and propensity for clean lines aesthetically aligned her with minimalism.

Leeper’s painting evolved from representational to non-objective over time. She embraced a language of abstraction more typical of the prevailing New York art world in the 1960 and 1970s, as opposed to the dominant aesthetic in Florida during the same time period. She showed her work locally and regionally with regularity. Her work was celebrated by significant solo exhibitions at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina. The process of mining local histories yields the legacies of talented artists who have often been discarded from mainstream narratives. When one engages deeper with Leeper’s work, it is not difficult to conclude that her myriad two- and three-dimensional works are worthy of not only a local, but a national story.


Original black and white photograph, 1956: Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original black and white photograph, 1956.

Is Part Of

Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Art Pioneers Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




320 KB


1 black and white photograph




Still Image


Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the Atlantic Center for the Arts and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

"Doris Leeper: SCULPTOR, PAINTER." Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida of Department of States.
Moore, Roger. "Doris Leeper Was A `Force For The Arts':The Atlantic Center For The Arts Was Among The Volusia Woman's Many Creations." The Orlando Sentinel, April 12, 2000.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 black and white photograph


“Doris "Doc" Marie Leeper, 1956,” RICHES, accessed July 19, 2024,