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Leon Dabo papers, circa 1888-1969

Leon Dabo papers, circa 1888-1969

Dabo, Leon, 1868-1960

Muralist, Painter, Landscape painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.2 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

French-born Leon Dabo (1868-1960) was a tonalist painter active in New York. He is known for his landscapes of the Hudson River Valley, influenced by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.


The Leon Dabo papers were donated in several installments by his widow, Stephanie Ofenthal Dabo from 1969 to 1972. A photograph of Dabo taken by Peter Juley was a gift from an unknown donor in 1963.

Scope and Contents

The papers of painter Leon Dabo date from circa 1888 to 1969 and measure 1.2 linear feet. The collection consists of biographical materials, scattered correspondence, research files relating to the paintings of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, printed mateirals, photographs, and works of art. Also found is a paint palette and brushes reportedly owned by Whistler and a walking stick.

Biographical materials include biographical sketches and resumes, certificates, membership, and military records. Also found is a poem written for Dabo by Helen Hays Whitney and material relating to Dabo's brother, Theodore Scott Dabo. Correspondence is scattered and includes letters written between Leon and T. Scott Dabo with the Detroit Museum of Art concering their art. Research files contain printed material, a letter, and annotated photographs of works of art relating to Dabo's verification of forgeries of Whistler. Printed materials include clippings, a speech, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and English and German art publications including articles about Dabo and Whistler. Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Dabo and others, including one taken of Dabo by Peter Juley, and of works of art. Group photographs depict Dabo's wife, his military service during World War I, and an alumni dinner of the Académie Julian. The papers include fourteen oil studies, a sketch by Dabo, and an unsigned caricature of Dabo.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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