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Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers, 1905-1975, 1920-1946

Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946

Painter, Illustrator

The papers of Arthur and Helen Torr Dove were digitized in 2006 by the Archives of American Art. The papers have been partially scanned and total 6,521 images. Materials which were not scanned include duplicate originals, photocopies, tax records, and photographs of artwork.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 3.0 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Arthur and Helen Torr Dove measure 3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1975, with the bulk of material dating from 1920 to 1946. Arthur Dove's life as an artist, and his life with the artist Helen Torr, are documented in biographical narratives, personal documents, an audio recording, correspondence, diaries, essays, poetry, notes, exhibition catalogs, clippings, magazine illustrations, pamphlets, receipts, an accounting ledger, tax records, sketches, and photographs.
Biographical materials include a last will and testament, biographical narratives, and other official documents, as well as an audio recording of an interview with William Dove made around 1961 by George Wolfer. Correspondence includes letters from friends, clients, other artists, and Dove's patron Duncan Phillips. There is also correspondence with family members Helen Torr and Paul Dove. Drafts of outgoing letters from Dove to various correspondents including Phillips and Alfred Stieglitz are found.
Writings are extensive and include diaries, autobiographical essays, essays about art, artists, and other subjects, and poetry by Arthur Dove; as well as essays, reminiscences, and notes of Helen Torr. Printed materials include exhibition catalogs for Dove's shows and the shows of other artists in the Stieglitz Circle, examples of Dove's early magazine illustration work, newspaper reviews of Dove's exhibitions, and various pamphlets related to modern art. Personal business records include an accounting ledger of the Doves' expenses, sales receipts, tax records, and an undated art inventory. Artwork consists of ten items, mostly sketches in pencil, watercolor, ink, and colored pencil. Photographs are undated and unidentified, but appear to be from the 1920s and the 1940s, and depict mostly family (including Arthur Dove, Helen Torr, and Aline and William Dove), homes, and coastal scenes.

Biographical/Historical Note

Arthur Garfield Dove (1880-1946) and Helen Torr Dove were painters from Geneva and Centerport, N.Y. Born in Canandaigua, N.Y., Arthur Dove settled in New York City in 1903, becoming an illustrator for popular magazines, including Harper's, Scribner's, and Century. Lived in Paris 1907-1909, where he became acquainted with modern art through friend Alfred Maurer. After 1910 Dove began exhibiting frequently at Alfred Stieglitz's gallery and Duncan Phillips became one of his most important patrons. Married painter Helen Torr Weed "Reds" in 1930.


Loaned by William Dove, Arthur Dove's son, for microfilming in several increments between 1970 and 1975. Subsequently donated by William Dove via the Terry Distenfass Gallery of New York City in multiple accessions between 1982 and 1989, with two major exceptions: 177 letters from Alfred Stieglitz, sixteen letters from Georgia O'Keeffe, and two letters from William Einstein; and Arthur Dove's card catalog of paintings, a photocopy of which had been loaned for microfilming. The papers were digitized in 2006.

Related Materials

Photocopies of Arthur Dove's card catalog of paintings were discarded after microfilming and can be viewed on reel 2803.


Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Ca. 50 early magazine illustrations, reel N70-51, and letters, reel 725: Originals in the possession of William Dove.