Among the most accomplished abstract American artists, Dove created inventive symbolic portraits of friends using found materials. Ralph Dusenberry, Dove’s neighbor, lived in a houseboat on the North Shore of Long Island. The artist selected the objects in this work for their associations with Dusenberry’s personality and interests: the sheet music pasted at the bottom is a hymn that Dusenberry often sang, while the folding rulers that frame the composition point to his profession as an architect. The pieces of weathered wood refer to the docks, shingled cabins, and shipbuilding materials of the marine environment.
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Title:Portrait of Ralph Dusenberry
Artist:Arthur Dove (American, Canandaigua, New York 1880–1946 Huntington, New York)
Medium:Oil, folding wooden rulers, wood, and cut-and-pasted printed paper on canvas
Dimensions:22 × 18 in. (55.9 × 45.7 cm)
Credit Line:Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
the artist (1924–probably 1925; probably in 1925 to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (probably 1925–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA)
Anderson Galleries, New York. "Alfred Stieglitz Presents Seven Americans: 159 Paintings, Photographs and Things, Recent and Never Before Publicly [sic] Shown by Arthur G. Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Charles Demuth, Paul Strand, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz," March 9–28, 1925, no. 3.
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism," December 7, 1936–January 17, 1937, no. 541.
Washington, D. C. Phillips Memorial Gallery. "Retrospective Exhibition of Works in Various Media by Arthur G. Dove," March 23–April 18, 1937, no. 1.
New York. An American Place. "Arthur G. Dove, Exhibition of Oils and Temperas," April 10–May 17, 1939, no catalogue (checklist no. 6).
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "History of an American, Alfred Stieglitz: '291' and After, Selections from the Stieglitz Collection," July 1–November 1, 1944, no. 253.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Alfred Stieglitz Exhibition: His Collection," June 10–August 31, 1947, no catalogue (checklist no. 25).
Art Institute of Chicago. "Alfred Stieglitz: His Photographs and His Collection," February 2–29, 1948, extended to March 7, 1948, no catalogue (checklist no. 13).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.
College Park. University of Maryland Art Gallery, J. Millard Tawes Fine Arts Center. "Arthur Dove: The Years of Collage," March 13–April 19, 1967, no. 3.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors from the Museum's Collections," October 1–December 7, 1969, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Strand and His Contemporaries," February 10–April 15, 1973, no catalogue.
San Francisco Museum of Art. "Arthur Dove," November 21, 1974–January 5, 1975, unnumbered cat. (p. 65).
Buffalo. Albright-Knox Art Gallery. "Arthur Dove," January 27–March 2, 1975, unnumbered cat.
St. Louis Art Museum. "Arthur Dove," April 3–May 25, 1975, unnumbered cat.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Arthur Dove," July 12–August 31, 1975, unnumbered cat.
Des Moines Art Center. "Arthur Dove," September 22–November 2, 1975, unnumbered cat.
New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Arthur Dove," November 24, 1975–January 18, 1976, unnumbered cat.
New York. Andrew Crispo Gallery. "Twelve Americans, Masters of Collage: Bearden, Cornell, Courtright, Dole, Dove, Krasner, Motherwell, Rauschenberg, Reinhardt, Ryan, Stella, Wesselmann," November 17–December 30, 1977, no. 87.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arthur Dove: Nature Abstracted," April 16, 1991–April 6, 1992, no catalogue (as "Ralph Dusenberry").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Still Life: 1915–1950," February 1, 1995–January 28, 1996, no catalogue (on view from June 29, 1995).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "As They Were: 1900–1929," April 9–September 8, 1996, no catalogue.
Andover, Mass. Addison Gallery of American Art. "Arthur Dove: A Retrospective," April 25–July 12, 1998 (fig. 34).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 66.
Waldo Frank, Lewis Mumford, Dorothy Norman, Paul Rosenfeld, and Harold Rugg, ed. America and Alfred Stieglitz: A Collective Portrait. Garden City, N. Y., 1934, pl. XA, as "Ralph Dusenberg".
Elizabeth McCausland. "Dove: Man and Painter." Parnassus 9 (December 1937), p. 5.
Georgia O'Keeffe. "Stieglitz: His Pictures Collected Him." New York Times (December 11, 1949), p. SM24, ill.
Frederick S. Wight. Arthur G. Dove. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1958, pp. 51–52, ill.
Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, pp. 54–55, ill.
George Heard Hamilton. "The Alfred Stieglitz Collection." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), p. 389.
Nora B. Beeson. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1972, p. 279.
Sam Hunter and John Jacobus. American Art of the 20th Century: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, 1973, p. 107, fig. 185.
Barbara Rose. American Art Since 1900. Rev. and expanded ed. (1st ed., 1967). New York, 1975, pp. 79–80, 297, fig. 4-12.
Robert Hughes. "Prophet and Poet of the Abstract." Time (February 3, 1975), p. 52.
Sanford Schwartz. "On Arthur Dove." Artforum 14 (February 1976), p. 33, ill.
Abraham A. Davidson. "Demuth's Poster Portraits." Artforum 17 (November 1978), p. 57.
Waldo Frank, Lewis Mumford, Dorothy Norman, Paul Rosenfeld, and Harold Rugg, ed. America and Alfred Stieglitz: A Collective Portrait. Rev. ed (1st ed., 1934). Millerton, N. Y., 1979, fig. 67.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 506, 513, fig. 917.
Abraham A. Davidson. Early American Modernist Painting. New York, 1981, pp. 10, 96–97, ill.
Barbara D. Gallati. "Arthur G. Dove as Illustrator." Archives of American Art Journal 21, no. 2 (1981), p. 21.
Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 1983, p. 415, no. 12, ill. (color).
Ann Lee Morgan. Arthur Dove: Life and Work, with a Catalogue Raisonné. Newark, Del., 1984, pp. 133–35, no. 24.7, ill.
Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 9, The United States of America. New York, 1987, p. 122, colorpl. 91.
Marc Chénetier et al. Américônes: Études sur l'image aux États-Unis. Fontenay-aux-Roses, 1997, p. 19.
Robert Hughes. American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America. New York, 1997, pp. 345, 347, fig. 211.
Jessica Murphy inStieglitz 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. 107, 110–11, 259, no. 66, ill. (color).
Richard Meyer. "Changing Partners: Richard Meyer on 'Reimagining Modernism' at the Met." Artforum 54 (November 2015), ill. p. 144 (color, installation photo).
Max Hollein. Modern and Contemporary Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2019, ill. p. 41 (color).
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