Jayna M. Josefson
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.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
The Leon Dabo papers were partially microfilmed in several increments onto reels 677, 692, D388, and N69-137. In 2013, the papers were merged and described by Jayna Josefson with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.