Arthur Garfield Dove
Arthur Garfield Dove was born into a wealthy family near Geneva, New York in 1880. He demonstrated a self-reliant and independent spirit from his childhood that led him to become one of America’s leading avant-garde artists in the beginning of the 20th century.
After graduating from Cornell University, Dove became a popular commercial illustrator in New York, but soon left illustrating to devote himself to painting. In 1907, like many American artists during this period, Dove and his wife traveled to Europe. There he became part of a group of American artists living in Paris who were interested in experimental painting. Along with painter Alfred Maurer, who became his best friend, Dove came to know modern artists and explored avant-garde styles of art.
Upon returning to the U.S. eighteen months later, Dove met Alfred Stieglitz, the well-known photographer, gallery owner and champion for modern art in America, through Maurer. Stieglitz included Dove in an exhibition in March 1910 titled: “Young American Painters.” This was Dove’s first New York exhibition. Although Stieglitz and Dove had very different backgrounds and personalities, they quickly became friends and Stieglitz became an important figure in Dove’s life. In Stieglitz, Dove found a passionate advocate of modernist art and a patriarchal figure who could fill in for a disapproving father. Dove’s kinship with Stieglitz was ignited instantly and sustained over a lifetime: “I do not think I could have existed as a painter without that super-encouragement and the battle he has fought day by day for twenty-five years. He is without a doubt the one who has done the most for art in America.”
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