The collection is arranged into 6 series: Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1885-1934 (Box 1; 3 folders) Series 2: Diaries, 1861-1904 (Box 1; 6 folders) Series 3: Notes and Writings, circa 1904-1977 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet) Series 4: Printed Materials, circa 1826-1978 (Boxes 1-2; 5 folders) Series 5: Photographs, circa 1880-1977 (Boxes 1-2; 0.6 linear feet) Series 6: Artwork, circa 1879-1906 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Access Note / Rights:
The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
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.
Arthur Wesley Dow papers, circa 1826-1978, bulk 1879-1922. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers of Arthur W. (Arthur Wesley) Dow in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2008, and total 1378 images.
Materials that generally have not been scanned include duplicates, negatives, and modern copy prints of vintage photographs as well as photographs of works of art. For some publications, such as catalogs, only the cover and title pages have been scanned.
Materials lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels 1027, 1033-1034 ,1079, and 1271 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the William H. Elsner papers relating to Arthur Wesley Dow, which include color photographs of Dow's works of art and correspondence regarding Dow between Frederick Moffatt and Rudolph Schaeffer. The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 1027, 1033-1034, and 1079) including biographical material, correspondence, manuscripts, printed material, and one diary. Reel 1271 contains group photographs taken at the Académie Julian, Paris, as well as unidentified group photographs, some of the photographs and are available at the Ipswich Historical Society. All other loaned materials were returned to the lenders and are not described in the collection container inventory.
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).
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.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001