Arnold Tilden Dorenfeld, (1935-2003) was born in Chicago and became known simply as Doren during a prolific career dedicated to photography. After serving as a photographer in high school and the Navy, he graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (1961) where he studied with Minor White, Ralph Hattersley and Richard Zakia. The spiritual aspects of photography and the celebration of everything visual were common threads among these teachers. However, it was primarily Minor White who shaped Doren’s philosophy and inspired him to write poetry and prose while photographing extensively.
After graduating from RIT, Doren worked as a commercial and fine arts photographer in NYC from 1961-1978. He worked for Irving Penn, Irving Blumenthal and Allen Vogel, while doing freelance photography. During this era, he documented the Woodstock Festival, NYC streets, 1960s happenings, political protests and nature. He began to travel widely and constantly photographed people, places and events for the next 40 years.
In 1968, he was invited to exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in a show called. “Photography as Printmaking” curated by Peter C. Bunnell. The show toured for over two years. The editors of Time Life Books selected Doren in 1971 as one of ten photographers in the USA to be published in Photographing Children. Many accolades followed in publications, exhibitions and awards. He is represented at the George Eastman House, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, Meridian Museum of Art (Mississippi), Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design and many other collections.
From 1978-2003, Doren lived in Greensboro, NC and served an associate professor of photography at University of North Carolina. He educated thousands of students and shared his technical expertise and passion for photography as art. In 2009, Doren’s archive was donated to the Jackson Library of UNC, Greensboro.