Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tree

Artist:
Arthur Dove (American, Canandaigua, New York 1880–1946 Huntington, New York)
Date:
1935
Medium:
Watercolor, tempera, and ink on paper
Dimensions:
5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
49.70.96
Rights and Reproduction:
© The estate of Arthur G. Dove
Not on view
In 1930, Dove began to work regularly in watercolor, becoming as skillful and prolific in that medium as he was in oil painting. In this image, concentric rings of gradated color evoke a tree's profile of full foliage, its seasonal cycle of bloom and decay, and its interaction with light and air. The "tree" of this watercolor also resembles the stamen of a flower, or some embryonic organism still enclosed in its egg or cocoon. Dove's imagery even makes a symbolic reference to the human body. Here, the phallic shape of the central vertical element, which suggestively penetrates the layered ovoid form, relates to Dove's constant themes of regeneration and growth.
Inscription: Signed (lower center): dove.; dated and inscribed (verso): Tree (41) 1935
the artist (to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (possibly 1935–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Two Hundred Years of Watercolor Painting in America: An Exhibition Commemorating the Centennial of the American Watercolor Society," December 8, 1966–January 29, 1967, no. 179 (as "Tree [41]").

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present," September 2–October 24, 1976, unnumbered cat. (fig. 263; as "Tree [41]").

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present," November 23, 1976–January 23, 1977, unnumbered cat.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present," February 20–April 17, 1977, unnumbered cat.

Denver Art Museum. "American Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Selection 2," February 2–March 31, 1991, no. 142 (as "Tree [41]").

Norfolk, Va. Chrysler Museum of Art. "American Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Selection 2," May 9–July 7, 1991, no. 142.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Watercolors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 15–December 10, 1991, no. 142.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arthur Dove/Helen Torr: Land and Water," February 14–June 14, 1998, no catalogue.

Williamstown, Mass. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. "Dove/ O'Keeffe: Circles of Influence," June 7–September 7, 2009, unnumbered cat. (pl. 47).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 92.

Jessica Murphy in Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 126, 262, no. 92, ill. (color).



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