Meeting (The Three Graces)

Manierre Dawson (American, 1887–1969)

Oil on canvas
58 1/8 x 48 in. (147.6 x 121.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Myra Bairstow and Lewis J. Obi, M.D., 2007
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© ObiArts, Inc.
  • Description

    In 1910 the young Chicago artist spent six months traveling throughout England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, where he visited museums, collectors, and archeological sites. Following this sojourn, he created a series of modernist works in 1911-12 based on images from classical art and Old Master paintings. Here, his reinterpretation of a first-century Pompeian fresco transformed mythological maidens into emblems of Cubo-Futurist modernity. Although Dawson did not receive the same recognition during his lifetime as some of his American contemporaries in the Stieglitz and Arensberg circles, his avant-garde work was in the forefront of American modernism at the time.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed and dated (L.L.): DAWSON 12

  • Provenance

    The artist (1912–d. 1969; his estate, from 1969); Obiarts, Inc. (until 2007; gift to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    ¦Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture in "The Modern Spirit."¦ Milwaukee Art Society (April 16-May 12, 1914), no. 90 [titled: Meeting]

    ¦Manierre Dawson¦. Milwaukee Art Institute (Jan. 1923)

    ¦Retrospective Paintings by Manierre Dawson¦. Grand Rapids Art Museum (April 3-24, 1966); no. 12 [titled: Meeting - Graces]

    ¦Manierre Dawson: Paintings 1909-1913¦. Sarasota, FL: Ringlng Museum of Art (Nov. 6 - 26, 1967) and West Palm Beach, FL: Norton Gallery and School of Art (Jan. 26 - Feb. 18, 1968), cat. no. 16, p. 9 [titled: Meeting (Graces)]; not illustrated

    ¦Manierre Dawson¦. NY: Robert Schoelkopf Gallery (April 5 - May 1, 1969); no. 18 [titled: Meeting]

    ¦Manierre Dawson (1887-1969): A Retrospective Exhibition of Painting¦. Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art (November 13, 1976 - Jan. 2, 1977); Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Art Museum (Jan. 18 - Feb. 20, 1977); College Park, MD: Maryland Art Gallery, University of Maryland (March 29-May 1, 1977). Catalogue by Mary Mathews Gedo. Mentioned in text, p. 15; listed in checklist, p. 20 [The Meeting (Three Graces), 1911, lent by Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, NY]; ill. in b&w, p. 10 [The Meeting, 1912-14]

    ¦Manierre Dawson: Paintings, 1910-1914 (essay by Mary Mathews Gedo)¦; cat. no. 12, p. 6. NY: Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, Ltd., (March 28 - April 22, 1981); [titled: Three Graces - The Meeting]

    ¦Regional American Painting to 1920¦. Catalogue essay by William Gerdts. Greenville, SC: Greenville County Museum of Art, Nov. 6 - Dec. 30, 1990

    ¦Manierre Dawson: American Pioneer of Abstract Art¦ (cat. essays by Henry Adams and Randy J. Ploog). NY: Hollis Taggart Galleries (Oct. 1-30, 1999). Mentioned in text p. 70 and pp. 171, 174 and 175 in transcript of artist's diary, entries: Dec. 16, 1912, Dec. 12, 1913, Feb. 8, 1914, respectively; cat. no. 28, n.p. text and ill. in color; listed in checklist, p. 158 [Meeting (The Three Graces), 1912]

  • References

    Hern, George L., Jr., "Norton has New Trio of Exhibits," The Palm Beach Post, Jan. 29, 1968

    Gedo, Mary M., "Manierre Dawson: The Prophet in His Own Country," American Art Review, vol. 4, no. 3, Dec. 1977, p. 123 [titled: The Meeting]

    Gedo, Mary Matthews, "Modernizing the Masters: Manierre Dawson's Cubist Transliterations," Arts Magazine, vol. 55, no. 8, April 1981, p. 143, fig. 31

    Gedo, Mary Matthews, "The Secret Idol: Manierre Dawson and Pablo Picasso", Arts Magazine, vol. 56, no. 4, Dec. 1981, p.123 [titled: The Three Graces]

    Gerdts, William H. Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting: 1710-1920, vol. 2. NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1990, p. 32

    Randy J. Ploog and Myra Bairstow. Manierre Dawson (1887-1969): A Catalogue Raisonné. Jacksonville, FL: The Three Graces, in association with Hollis Taggart Galleries, NY, 2011, cat. no. 1912.15, pp. frontispiece (ill. in color), 34, 184, 185 (ill. b&w, caption on following pages), 302, 322 (Dec 16, 1912 journal entry), 325 ( Dec 12, 1913 journal entry), 326 (April 17, 1914 journal entry)

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History