MYSTERY SOLVED: The Mystery of Andrew Dasburg and others in his studio, circa 1910

Three men in an art studio with pots and dishes. One is kneeling, one is bending over, and one is standing upright, all as they are cleaning dishes
Andrew Dasburg and others in his studio, 1910. Photographer unknown. Andrew Dasburg and Grace Mott Johnson papers.

The Mystery:

What: The three men cleaning dishes after a meal

Where: Dasburg's Paris studio, 115 rue Notre Dame des Champs

When: circa 1910

Who: Andrew Dasburg (left, kneeling) and two unidentified figures (center and right). The upright man could be Ronald Moser, Dasburg's studio mate.

Help us solve the mystery: Who are the two men with Andrew Dasburg in his Paris studio?

About the People and the Place:

Andrew Michael Dasburg (1887-1979) was born in Paris, France, to German parents. After his father died and when he was five, Dasburg and his mother moved to New York City. In 1902 Dasburg started attending classes at the Art Students' League and studied with Kenyon Cox and Frank Du Mond. He also took night classes with Robert Henri. In 1907 he received a scholarship to the Art Students' League summer school in Woodstock, New York and spent three summers studying there in Birge Harrison's painting class. While in school he became friends with many young artists, including Morgan Russell and his future wife, Grace Mott Johnson.

In 1909, Johnson and Dasburg went to Paris and joined the modernist circle of artists living there, including Morgan Russell, Jo Davidson, and Arthur Lee. During a trip to London that same year they were married. Johnson returned to the United States early the next year, but Dasburg stayed in Paris where he met Henri Matisse, Gertrude and Leo Stein, and became influenced by the paintings of Cezanne and Cubism. He returned to Woodstock, New York in August and he and Johnson became active members of the artist community. Using what he had seen in Paris, Dasburg became one of the earliest American cubist artists, and also experimented with abstraction in his paintings.

The Solution:

Andrew Dasburg, Marsden Hartley, and Arthur Lee in Dasburg's Paris studio, circa 1910

What: The three men cleaning dishes after a meal

Where: Dasburg's Paris studio, 115 rue Notre Dame des Champs

When: circa 1910

Who: Andrew Dasburg (left, kneeling), Marsden Hartley (center), and Arthur Lee (right)

All three of these artists were colleagues and friends from the Woodstock Art Colony, and they were all living in Paris at the time of this photo.

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