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Me and the Moon

Arthur G. Dove ( 1937 )

Collection item 0559
  • Period Twentieth-Century
  • Materials Wax emulsion on canvas
  • Object Number 0559
  • Dimensions 18 x 26 in.; 45.72 x 66.04 cm.
  • Credit Line Acquired 1939

Arthur Dove wanted to represent unseen rhythms and nuances of his environment. He also sought to record his personal interpretations of nature. Dove spoke of his art as “music for the eyes” and as a way to communicate sensations through color, shapes, light, or character lines. In Me and the Moon, he paints the deep night sky. Vibrating bands of greens, blues and blacks surround a pale yellow moon rising with zones of beige, blue and ochre in the background. The title for Me and the Moon was inspired by a 1936 song with the same name, which Dove listened to on the radio.

From 1933 until the artist’s death, museum founder Duncan Phillips supported Dove with an annual stipend and gave him his first solo exhibition in 1937. As his foremost patron, Phillips was moved by the sensual and emotive power of Dove’s work. In 1946, at the end of Dove’s life, the artist wrote to Duncan Phillips thanking him for his ongoing material support stating, “You have no idea what sending on those checks means to me at this time. After fighting for an idea all your life, I realize your backing has saved it for me and I want to thank you with all of my heart and soul for what you have done. It has been marvelous.”