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Series 2 | A Finding Aid to the Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers, 1905-1975, 1920-1946 | Digitized Collection

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

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Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1974
(0.8 linear feet)

The arrangement of this series is divided into a general, chronological file of correspondence with multiple persons, and four separate groups of significant correspondence with associates Duncan Phillips and Alfred Stieglitz, and family members Helen "Reds" Torr Dove and Paul Dove.
General Correspondence contains Arthur Dove's personal and professional correspondence with other artists, friends, gallery owners, illustration clients, art critics, writers, and others. The bulk of correspondence consists of letters received by Dove and is arranged chronologically. Significant correspondents include Berenice Abbott (1938), Sherwood Anderson (1937, copy), Oscar Bleumner (undated), Van Wyck Brooks (1920, 1925, 1933, 1935), Ellis Parker Butler (1923, 1924), Florence Cane (1921, 1924, 1944, undated), Stuart Davis (1946), William Einstein (1940), C.H. Fuerstenberg (sister to Alfred Maurer, 1937), Edward Alden Jewell (undated, see also outgoing), Gaston LaChaise (1928), Lawson (probably Ernest, undated), John Marin (1938), Elizabeth McCausland (1940, undated), Dorothy Norman (1934, 1937, 1939, undated), Herbert Seligmann (1932), Paul Strand (1920, 1921, 1932), and Emil Zoler (undated). Drafts and copies of outgoing letters are mostly undated and are filed separately; in a few cases, Dove's letters are paired with a response among the outgoing letters, including a draft of a letter to Gaston LaChaise (1928).
Duncan Phillips corresponded steadily with Arthur Dove from the late 1920s until Dove's death in 1946. Their correspondence provides a detailed view of the long and unusual relationship between the artist and the patron. Included are two letters to Alfred Stieglitz, from 1934 (a copy) and 1936, in which Phillips discusses their financial arrangement and the acquisition of paintings. Drafts and copies of letters written by Dove are mostly undated, and while all are ostensibly from Dove, several of them are in Helen Torr Dove's handwriting. Additional correspondence between Dove and the staff of the Phillips Memorial Gallery can be found in General Correspondence.
Dove's letters to Alfred Stieglitz consist of drafts and copies of seven letters. Some of the letters appear to be copies made by Helen Torr Dove, and some are unfinished. Subjects include painting habits, art criticism, mutual friends, anecdotes, gallery business, and Dove's thoughts about being offered a government salary through the Public Works of Art Project, which he ultimately turned down. Many letters from Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe to Dove were loaned for microfilming and are available on AAA microfilm reel 725. The originals reside in the Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Archive at the Beinecke Library of Yale University.
Letters between Arthur Dove and his second wife, Helen "Reds" Torr Dove, were written during periods of separation, usually due to health and family concerns. Each chronological sequence contains one side of their daily and detailed correspondence, with the earlier letters (1933-1936) written by Arthur Dove, and later letters (1939) written by Helen Torr Dove. Scattered letters to and from other family members related to the circumstances at hand are also present. Correspondence between Arthur Dove and his younger brother, Paul Dove, concerns family property and other personal matters. Their wives, Helen Torr Dove and Betty Dove, are often included in their correspondence, but the brothers are the primary authors.
Where possible, letters are arranged chronologically. Undated letters are filed at the end of each group.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.