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Arthur Wesley Dow

Arthur Wesley Dow

American painter and printmaker Arthur Wesley Dow also practiced photography but is best known for his immense influence as an educator. Dow traveled abroad and studied at the Academie Julian, inspired by the coast of Brittany, honing and developing his talent for several years. He returned to Boston and became an educator. A meeting with a curator of an Oriental art exhibit exposed him to ukiyo-e, or the great Japanese woodblock prints. From this exposure, Dow realized that art should not imitate nature, but should develop naturally from the relationships between line, hue, and tone. Dow continued to teach and spread his newfound ideologies. He published Composition, an interactive course that taught manipulation of line, color, tone, and compositions. He became head of the art department at Columbia University, which allowed his ideas to spread more rampantly across the country, influencing early modernists.

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