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Arthur Wesley Dow papers, circa 1826-1978, bulk 1879-1922

Dow, Arthur W. (Arthur Wesley), 1857-1922

Printmaker, Educator, Landscape painter

The papers of Arthur W. (Arthur Wesley) Dow in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2008. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 1,378 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 1.3 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of Arthur Wesley Dow measure 1.3 linear feet and date from 1826-1978, with the bulk of the material dating from 1879-1922. The collection documents aspects of the life and work of the landscape painter, printmaker, photographer and educator. Papers include correspondence, diaries, writings, lecture notes, clippings, catalogs, ephemera, artwork, and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Arthur Wesley Dow, landscape painter, printmaker, photographer, and influential art educator, was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts on April 6, 1857, the eldest son of Mary Patch and David Dow. As a young man, he showed interest in the colonial history of Ipswich and together with Reverend Augustine Caldwell, he produced the serial Antiquarian Papers from 1875 to 1880, which featured Dow's drawings of local colonial architecture. It was Caldwell who advised him to pursue formal art instruction and in 1880 Dow began studying in the Boston studio of James M. Stone.


Material on reels 1027 and 1033-1034 were lent for microfilming by the Ipswich Historical Society, 1975. The diary on reel 1079 was lent by the Society for Preservation of New England Antiquities, 1976. Dow's grand-niece, Mrs. George N. Wright, donated material in 1976, and lent the photographs for microfilming in 1977. Additional material was received from Frederick Moffatt in 1989, who had obtained them in preparation for his book Arthur Dow (1977).

Related Materials

Language Note

English .


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

Location of Originals

  • Several photographs, including images of Dow, Dow family members, group photographs of classes, and landscapes, are copy prints. The original vintage prints for some of these copies, particularly group photographs of classes and landscapes, are available at the Ipswich Historical Society. The location of the other original vintage prints is unknown.