Leo Dorn (1879-1964) was born in Kentucky but is today most closely associated with the Silvermine Art Colony of Southwestern Connecticut, where he was a member of the so-called “Knockers” group of artists and craftsmen. This art colony was founded by Solon Borglum, a sculptor, who had moved to the New Canaan part of Silvermine in 1906 and built a hillside studio.
Dorn was one of the leading figures in an emerging community of artists in the neighbourhood. The “Knockers Club” would meet in Borglum’s studio and discuss their art, knocking one another’s work. It later became the Silvermine Guild, one of the largest and oldest art centres in New England. Artists in the neighbourhood included amongst others George Avison, D. Putnam Brinley, John Cassell, Richard Daggy,R. B. Gruelle and Cornelia Ellis Hildebrandt. The Guild operated the Silvermine College of Art, an accredited two-year educational institution, for ten years starting in 1962.