Search the Collections

Dorothy Trent
Nationality: 
american
Gender: 
Female
Dorothy Trent was a commerical and poster artist who was active in San Francisco during the 1940s. Trent created at least three war propaganda posters and four theatrical posters during that time.. Her propaganda posters are particularly strong. One shows a US four-engine bomber with the caption, “Let ME to the Talking! Service in Silence.” The other two war posters warn of the dangers of syphilis. She presumably created them during World War II, but no dates appear on the posters. One of the theatrical posters is for a May 23, 1942 “Jamboree” dance party, at which “150 lovely dance partners” promised to entertain servicemen. The other three posters are for performances of the Lyceum Players, probably in1942, of “H.M.S. Pinafore,” by W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Arthur Suillivan (1842-1900), a comedy called “Private Jones” and the “Hurly Burly Review.” Very little is known about Trent’s life. The San Francisco City Directories record Trent’s residence addresses and some of her work addresses from 1939 to 1946. She lived on California Street between Divisadero and Broderick Streets, then moved to Van Ness Avenue between Vallejo and Green Streets. By 1943 she had moved to the Buena Vista Park neighborhood, first at 35 Buena Vista Terrace and later at 61 Buena Vista Terrace. She was registered as “Miss Dorothy Trent” in the 1944 voter registration list, as a Democrat. In 1943 she was working for the Velvetone Poster Company, one of the oldest screen printing shops on the West Coast, known for its colorful posters. By the next year she is no longer listed as working for Velvetone, but instead is listed as a commercial artist with a residence at 35 Buena Vista Terrace. The following year she has what appears to be an office or studio at 101 Post Street. Trent is no longer listed in the City Directories after 1946 and, aside from her posters, no other records of her activities have been found. (TNB 3/2018)