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 William de Leftwich Dodge  (1867 - 1935)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: marine, figure, landscape, narrative, portrait and mural paintings

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Portrait of the Artist's Daughter
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Liberty, Virginia, William Dodge was a painter and muralist, whose mural work is in the domed ceiling of the Library of Congress, the Majestic Theatre in Boston and the Orpheum Theatre in Philadelphia.  His paintings are in the State Capitol of New York at Albany; City Hall at Buffalo, New York; and in New York City at the Algonquin Hotel and the Surrogate Court.

Dodge moved to Europe with his mother, brother and sister in 1880 and first studied in Munich and in 1881, settled in Paris where he attended the Academie Colarossi and the Ecole des Beaux Arts.  He exhibited historical and literary subjects at the Paris salons.  In 1889, he returned from Paris to New York City and developed his unique style of Impressionism.  They settled in Smithtown Bay east of New York City.  In 1898, he and his wife, Francis, began three successive summers in Giverny, France.

One of his paintings, The Death of Minnehaha gave him entry into numerous American exhibitions because of its popular, romantic subject matter.

Magazine References
The American Art Journal, Spring, 1982, Frederick Platt, A Brief  Autobiography of William de Leftwich Dodge
Art & Antiques, January-February, 1982, Marjorie Balge, William de  Leftwich Dodge: American Renaissance Artist
Library of Congress Information Bulletin, 1997, May, 5-19th, Portrait of the Artist, Dodge's Murals Helped Create 'National Monument of  Art', Leftwich Dodge Kimbrough

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from Audrey B. Florentine:

WLD is a descendant of Tristam Dodge, who arrived on Block Island* in 1661. His great grandfather was Jeremiah Dodge, in whose house in 1745 prayer meetings were held that resulted in the formation of the first Baptist church in New York City, a loft on William Street in 1753.

See DODGE GENEALOGY by Theron Royal Woodward.  He is our Florentine grandfather's first cousin.

*An island 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Born in Liberty, VA on March 9, 1867. Dodge studied in Munich and in Paris with Gérôme. During 1915 he was in San Francisco where he painted murals for the PPIE. He died in NYC on March 25, 1935. In: NMAA; Library of Congress; NY State Capitol (Albany); MM.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1898-33; Art in California (R. L. Bernier, 1916), p. 131; History & Ideals of American Art (Neuhaus), p. 388; Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); BSAA.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:

Born in Bedford, Virginia, William de Leftwich Dodge spent his adolescent years in Europe, where his mother had moved in 1879 to study painting. Living abroad, he followed his mother's example, studying briefly in Munich and then in Paris, under Jean-Leon Gerome at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, from 1885 to 1889. This solid academic training resulted in Dodge's mastery of the techniques required for handling various media, as well as his ability to work on a large scale. Dodge achieved early success with several classically inspired works at the 1888 Salon and 1889 Exposition.

On his return from Europe, Dodge settled in New York City and established himself as a mural painter. Known primarily for his grand allegorical decorations, he fulfilled numerous commissions for public buildings and private residences, including the Library of Congress and Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Dodge was also sought after as a portraitist and recorded the likenesses of prominent business, political, and social figures. His interest in outdoor painting was advanced in 1898, when he spent the first of three consecutive summers at the impressionist art colony in Giverny, France. Although his easel paintings are not as well known, he never abandoned this practice, composing luminous impressionist works in oil and watercolor throughout his career. Throughout his career, Dodge continually traveled to study and paint at scenic locales. By 1903, he was reported to be one of the country's most successful artists, artistically and financially.

In addition to oil and watercolor painting, Dodge experimented with illustration (for Century and the Paris-based Figaro); taught at the Art Students League (1915, 1925-1929) and at Cooper Union (1916-1929); and designed and successfully tested a model airplane/helicopter that flew twenty-five feet in the Tenth Street Studio Building. Dodge also maintained an active exhibition schedule with leading institutions and galleries.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.

Biography from Higgins Maxwell Gallery:
He painted in Monet's gardens at Giverny in the summers of 1898,1899,and 1900. He was also an inventor; one of his model helicopters is owned by the Smithsonian.

Studied: Munich in 1880; Ecole des Beaux-Arts, with Gerome, from 1885;Academie Julian, 1889.Exhibited: too many awards and prizes to list here, but one that is notable was his showing at the Chicago Art Academy in 1901, (solo) of 70 works. Work: easel paintings:

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