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Edwin Walter Dickinson

 (1891 - 1978)
Edwin Walter Dickinson was active/lived in New York, California, Massachusetts.  Edwin Dickinson is known for modernist mystic views, portrait, genre.

Edwin Walter Dickinson

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Edwin Walter Dickinson
An artist staunchly independent from prevailing modes of expression and a complex personality, Edwin Dickinson seems to have explored a wide range of styles based on his own intuition and dreams. His painting contains hints of possibilities for interpretation, and the viewer is inevitably challenged.

He was born in Seneca Falls, New York and studied in New York City with Frank DuMond, William Merritt Chase, and Charles Hawthorne with whom he spent much time painting in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Biography from James Graham & Sons
Edwin Dickinson's oeuvre is unique among American artists of the 20th century. Although he was thought to have anticipated abstract expressionism with his highly abstracted landscapes, the "irresistible site" is always recognizable in his work.

As Joe Shannon said in his essay "The Premier Coup" in the book, Edwin Dickinson - Selected Landscapes, "Dickinson was not opting for reduction in a modernist sense. He never desired to have the surface effects subvert the particularity of a site, but the interplay between surface effects and depicted effects excited him. Although Dickinson was very much a modern painter, he was influenced by Whistler's muted, tonalist landscapes and was greatly impressed by Velazquez and El Greco." Shannon also pointed out Dickinson's affinity with the English landscape painter, John Constable. 
Dickinson's work falls into two distinct groups, the monumental "subject paintings" such as The Cello Player, 1924-26, the Metropolitan Museum's Ruin at Daphne, 1943-53 and the Whitney Museum's The Fossil Hunters, 1926-28. These complex, psychologically loaded paintings, worked on over a long period of time, are quite the opposite of the "premier coup" landscapes, which Dickinson started to produce when he was in France from 1937-38. 

The first strike landscapes were painted quickly, "en plein air," often in sittings of less than two hours. Many were painted from the yard of a family named Sandy and the view looks out on Cayuga Lake. Dickinson's grandparents built a house on the lake in 1898 at Sheldrake. The cliffs of Cayuga are shale and full of fossils, and it was here that the artist first came to love fossils.

Biography from ACME Fine Art
Biography photo for Edwin Walter Dickinson
Edwin W. Dickinson

Pratt Institute Art School
National Academy of Design
Art Students League
Buffalo Fine Arts Academy
and with William M. Chase and Charles Hawthorne

Selected Exhibitions:
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1916, 1928-'57
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1917-'22,'29-'31,'44-'49,'60,'64, '66 (solo), 2003 (solo)
National Academy of Design, 1918,'49,'82,'89-92, 2003 (solo)
Luxembourg Museum, Paris, 1919
Art Institute of Chicago, 1920
Carnegie Institute, 1921
Jeu de Pomme, Paris, 1938
Albright [Knox] Art Gallery, 1927 (solo), 2002 (solo)
Museum of Modern Art, 1938,'43,'52,'54,'61-'63, '76
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1965 (solo),'66
Brooklyn Museum of Art
World's Fair of New York, 1964
Everson Museum of Art, 1977
Joseph Hirshhorn Museum, 1980(solo)

Selected Collections:
National Museum of American Art
Museum of Modern Art
Whitney Museum of American Art
Art Institute of Chicago
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Academy of Design
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Baltimore Museum of Art
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Chrysler Museum of Art
Joseph Hirshhorn Museum

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Biography photo for Edwin Walter Dickinson
Edwin Dickinson in his studio c. 1955. Photo: George Yater courtesy PAAM

About  Edwin Walter Dickinson

Born:  1891 - Seneca Falls, New York
Died:   1978 - Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Known for:  modernist mystic views, portrait, genre

Essays referring to
Edwin Walter Dickinson