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American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: Arthur Garfield Dove, American, 1880–1946

Sunrise III


Wax emulsion and oil on canvas, partly coated in gesso

25 × 35 1/16 in. (63.5 × 89.1 cm)
Gift of Katherine S. Dreier to the Collection Société Anonyme

From The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America:

“An American artist of rare distinction” is how Katherine Dreier described Arthur Dove in the catalogue for the 1926 Brooklyn exhibition, which included three earlier works by the artist that she had borrowed from gallery owner and photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Dreier acquired Sunrise III in 1948, some ten years after it was painted, from New York’s Downtown Gallery, in exchange for a Dove watercolor already in her possession. As Dreier wrote to the artist Georgia O’Keeffe in March 1948, she desired an image “more worthy of Dove to have in our Collection of the Société Anonyme… . Besides, it will only benefit Dove to have him at Yale University.” Dreier promptly gifted Sunrise III to the Collection Société Anonyme at Yale in 1949. The idea of universality suggested by the painting’s concentric rings surely would have appealed to Dreier, a Theosophist who strongly believed in the “cosmic forces,” as she called them, which govern the universe.

On view*
20th century

Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 191, ill.

Charles Brock, Nancy Anderson, and Harry Cooper, American Modernism: The Shein Collection, exh. cat. (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2010), 58, fig. Fig. 2.

Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Carol Troyen, and Erin Monroe, American Moderns on Paper: Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, ed. Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2010), 78, fig. 1.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.