Arthur Wesley Dow, 1857-1922

Gables by the Old Bridge

woodblock print, ca. 1893-95

8 by 12.3 cm

Arthur Wesley Dow was a painter, photographer and printmaker, but perhaps his most lasting legacy is his continuing impact as an arts educator. Throughout his career, Dow endeavored to grow as an artist by reaching beyond traditional approaches to the fine arts while simultaneously sharing his insights through teaching. Dow taught in New York at the newly established Pratt Institute (1895-1903); The Art Students League (1898-1903); and later, he became the Director of the Department of Fine Arts at Teachers College, Columbia University (1904-1922). In 1891 he established his own Ipswich Summer School of Art in Massachusetts at which hundreds of students learned a variety of crafts as well as fine arts. In 1907, Dow was forced to close the summer school, not from any decline in its popularity but because of his own time constraints. In 1899 he published an arts manual, Composition: A Series of Exercises in Art Structure for the Use of Students and Teachers, which revolutionized the way artists and art students approached concepts of design. It was extremely successful and influential, three editions were printed in the first year, and by 1938 there were twenty.

This was one of the designs included in the 1895 corridor exhibition, Special Exhibition of Color Prints, Designed, Engraved and Printed by Arthur W. Dow, April 18-June 1, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, although this particular impression could have been printed at a later time as Dow often pulled new impressions to demonstrate the printing process to his students.

Meech & Weisberg, Japonisme Comes to America, 1990, pp. 163-179
Green & Poesch, Arthur Wesley Dow and American Arts & Crafts, 1999
Spanierman Gallery, Arthur Wesley Dow: His Art and Influence, 1999

Katherine Martin, Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Three - The International Perspective, New York: Scholten Japanese Art, 2008, no. 1

The Estate of Arthur Wesley Dow



Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
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site last updated
January 21, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475