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Series 3 | 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 3: Writings, circa 1924-1945
(1.5 linear feet)

This series includes logs, diaries, notes, essays, and poetry written by Arthur Dove, his wife, and others.
The Dove diaries begin in 1924 with Arthur Dove's "Log of the Mona," the boat on which he and Reds lived at the time. The log records weather conditions, daily activities, and occasionally his thoughts about art. From late 1924 until 1945, Reds and Arthur Dove seem to have shared a responsibility for keeping a daily account of their lives. Diaries record the couple's activities, including social visits, letter writing, chores, trips, and art-making. Reds was the primary author of the diaries from1925 until 1935. Her records are very brief in early diaries, but gradually became more detailed, and are especially rich with information about Arthur Dove's artwork. In 1935, a separate notebook was kept for information about paintings in. In 1936 and 1937, the diaries include entries by both Arthur and Reds, and by 1939 Arthur took over entirely and continued keeping diaries for them until early 1945. A notebook of excerpts from earlier diary entries about Dove's artwork was later created by Reds, and may have been compiled for a retrospective exhibition held in 1956.
Arthur Dove's writings include handwritten and typewritten essays, poems, notes, and aphoristic statements that deal with the subjects of abstraction in art, modern art, nature, color, and the artists he admired. Typewritten essays include brief, dated statements of Dove's methods and ideas about art, and longer, titled essays on a range of subjects. Five essays about Alfred Stieglitz and one about John Marin are also included, some in multiple drafts. One of the Stieglitz pieces was written on the occasion of his death. Notes documenting a conversation between Arthur Dove and Alfred Maurer about American painting appear in two versions, one written by Arthur Dove, the other by Helen Torr. Occasionally, a hand-written copy of Dove's writings made by Helen is found with the original. A small compilations of early writings entitled "Prose and Poetry" includes a photograph of Dove circa 1925.
Many of Helen's notes and writings have to do with her recollections her husband. Unattributed essays and poems are in Helen's handwriting and may be copies of Dove's writings that, because they do not appear elsewhere in this collection, cannot be attributed with certainty.
Research Notes on the Dove Papers are notes made by art historians who went through the papers, presumably after Dove's death but before the papers came to the Archives.

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.