Arthur Wesley DowFirst Period

Arthur Wesley Dow

Ipswich artist Arthur Wesley Dow was born on April 6, 1857 in the Matthew Perkins house on East Street. He was one of the town’s most famous residents and a founding member of the Ipswich Historical Society. The Ipswich Museum owns the largest single collection of works by Arthur Wesley Dow, including oil paintings, watercolors, photographs, ink wash drawings, wood block prints, and plaster casts.

Arthur Wesley Dow

Arthur Wesley Dow

During summer, Dow and his wife ran the Ipswich Summer School of Art from the historic “Howard house” on Turkey Shore Road. Arthur Wesley Dow is renowned for his paintings and prints that take their subject matter from nature and reflect the orderly design and fine handcrafting championed by the Arts & Crafts movement.

Eighteen acres of his land was land was bequeathed to the town to become Dow Park on upper Spring Street, and his home went to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now called “Historic New England” upon his death in 1922.

In 1899 Dow created a teaching manual entitled Composition: Understanding Line, Notan and Color. In this very popular book he combines the best of Eastern and Western ideas, exploring the creation of images based on relations between lines, colors, and light patterns.

Dow served as the assistant curator of Japanese Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and taught at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, then was the director of the Fine Arts Department at the Teachers’ College at Columbia University in New York City until his death in 1922.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an online collection of cyanotypes created by Arthur Wesley Dow, which he created from his own glass plate negatives and those of George Dexter.

The Howard House on Turkey Shore Road, where Arthur Wesley Dow held his summer art school.

The Howard House on Turkey Shore Road, where Arthur Wesley Dow held his summer art school.

Arthur Wesley Dow with students at his summer art school on Turkey Shore Road.

Arthur Wesley Dow with students at his summer art school on Turkey Shore Road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Dow family bought a lot on Spring Street in 1817 which included an old dwelling house which no longer stands. Arthur Wesley Dow is said to have built the old mansion at 21 Spring St.

In 1899 Dow produced an album of 41 photographs entitled “Ipswich Days” and later published “By Salt Marshes: Pictures & Poems of Old Ipswich.”

Ipswich Days” analyzes this album and its significance in the artist’s career. Each of the images, depicting Ipswich’s clam shanties, marshes, farms, people, trees, flowers, and boats alike, is handsomely reproduced and reflects the beauty that Dow saw and uniquely interpreted in this quintessentially New England town.

In the ink sketch, “The Long Road: Argilla Road, Ipswich” he depicts a gravel road with a walking path running parallel as it may have been before the automotive age. Dow created several woodcut prints of the scene that I found in “Along Ipswich River: The Color Woodcuts of Arthur Wesley Dow depicting the walking trail converging with the road in the distance.

Photos below are from the following sources:

Hill and Field by Arthur Wesley Dow

Hill and Field

Hillside Pool by Arthur Wesley Dow

Hillside Pool

Shadow of a Thundercloud by Arthur Wesley Dow

In the Shadow of a Thundercloud

Ipswich Field by Arthur Wesley Dow

Ipswich Field

Ipswich marsh by Arthur Wesley Dow

Ipswich Marsh 1900

Ipswich Marsh by Arthur Wesley Dow

Ipswich Marsh blockprint

Summer Street by Arthur Wesley Dow

Summer Street blockprint

Japanese Tree by Arthur Wesley Dow

Japanese Tree in Blossom

June Morning by Arthur Wesley Dow

June Morning

landscape by Arthur Wesley Dow

Town Landscape

Lavendar and Green by Arthur Wesley Dow

Lavendar and Green

Les Sables de Raguenes by Arthur Wesley Dow

Les Sables de Raguenes

The Long Road Argilla by Arthur Wesley Dow

The Long Road Argilla

Marsh Creek by Arthur Wesley Dow

Marsh Creek

Marsh Creek by Arthur Wesley Dow

Marsh Creek

Mirror by Arthur Wesley Dow

Mirror

Moonrise by Arthur Wesley Dow

Moonrise

Nabby's Point by Arthur Wesley Dow

Nabby’s Point

Nightfall by Arthur Wesley Dow

Nightfall

Pirate house by Arthur Wesley Dow

Pirate house, Harry Maine

Summer Street by Arthur Wesley Dow

Summer Street

Sun Dappled Path by Arthur Wesley Dow

Sun Dappled Path

Sunset by Arthur Wesley Dow

Sunset

Sunset by Arthur Wesley Dow

Sunset over town

The dory by Arthur Wesley Dow

The Dory

Moon on the Hill by Arthur Wesley Dow

Moon on the Hill

The Old Stone Wall by Arthur Wesley Dow

The Old stone Wall

Marsh View by Arthur Wesley Dow

Marsh View 1892

Water Meadows by Arthur Wesley Dow

Water Meadows at Sunset

August Moon by Arthur Wesley Dow

August Moon

Bend of a River by Arthur Wesley Dow

Bend of a River

Boats at Rest by Arthur Wesley Dow

Boats at Rest

Bridge by Arthur Wesley Dow

Bridge

Choate Bridge by Arthur Wesley Dow

Choate Bridge blockprint by ARthur Wesley Dow

Clam house by Arthur Wesley Dow

Clam House

River Color by Arthur Wesley Dow

River Color

Color study by Arthur Wesley Dow

Color study

dory by Arthur Wesley Dow

Dory photo

dory by Arthur Wesley Dow

Dory blockprint 1895

Flood Tide by Arthur Wesley Dow

Flood Tide in the Ipswich Marshes

Flowering Field by Arthur Wesley Dow

Flowering Field

Flowering Hillside by Arthur Wesley Dow

Flowering Hillside

From Bayberry Hill by Arthur Wesley Dow

From Bayberry Hill

Harry Maine by Arthur Wesley Dow

Harry Maine house blockprint

Haystack in the Marsh by Arthur Wesley Dow

Haystack in the Marsh

Hill beyond the Marsh by Arthur Wesley Dow

Hill Beyond the Marsh

Meadow Hay by Arthur Wesley Dow

Meadow Hay

Marshes in the rain by Arthur Wesley Dow

Marshes in the Rain

An Ipswich Distance by Arthur Wesley Dow

An Ipswich Distance

11 replies »

  1. I am most certain that my husband’s family was related to Arthur Dow and am trying to locate brothers or cousins by the name of Amos Dow. Can you help?

    Like

  2. Do you know if Arthur was related to George Francis Dow, who was very involved with the Essex Institute and the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities? I thought I had once read that they were cousins, but I haven’t found documentation of that.

    Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.