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Leon Dabo papers, circa 1888-1969

Biographical 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 eldest child of artist Ignace Scott Dabo and Madeleine Dabo, Leon Dabo was born in France around 1868. To avoid the Franco-Prussian War, the family left France and settled in Detroit, Michigan where Ignace worked as a decorative artist. Leon Dabo moved to New York City to work to support his family after the death of his father, with the goal of sending his brother Theodore Scott Dabo to study art. Ultimately, Dabo focused on his own painting and studied in Paris, Munich and London. In London, he became acquainted with James Abbott McNeill Whistler who became a strong influence on Dabo. After returning to New York City in 1890, he kept a studio in Brooklyn and exhibited throughout the city. During World War I, Dabo served in the British and French military detecting German accents. Later, he served as an interpreter for the United States. Dabo married Jennie Ford in 1889 and had two children, Madeleine and Leon. After Jennie's death, he married Stephanie Ofenthal. Leon Dabo died in 1960 in New York City.