Sentimental Music

Arthur Dove (American, Canandaigua, New York 1880–1946 Huntington, New York )

ca. 1913
Pastel on paperboard
21 5/8 x 18 in. (54.9 x 45.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
49.70.77a, b
  • Description

    Dove frequently listened to music while he painted, and he created numerous music-related works throughout his career. As an artist, he took a particular interest in the improvisational techniques of jazz, and his diaries make reference to favorite music ranging from Louis Armstrong and George Gershwin to the popular big-band sounds of Paul Whiteman and Bing Crosby and even the avant-garde work of Igor Stravinsky. Like several of his fellow American modernists, including Georgia O'Keeffe and Stuart Davis, Dove was also interested in the concept of synaesthesia, or the interaction of the various senses of perception: he worked with the idea that certain combinations of form, color, and line could evoke the same emotional and physical responses as the dynamics and harmonies of musical sound.

  • Exhibition History

    ¦Abstract Painting in America¦. NY: Whitney Museum of American Art, February 12-March 22, 1935. Catalogue no. 39 [listed as: Sentimental Music, oil, collection of Mr. Alfred Stieglitz]; not illustrated

  • References

    New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, April 22 - October 9, 1994. Joseph Stella, Exh. cat. by Barbara Haskell. no. 66. p. 56 (illus. in black & white).

    Rachael Z. DeLue in Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 2012, colorpl. 83.

  • See also