Lamar Dodd: Paintings and Drawings

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This brochure accompanied the exhibition of the same title, organized by the Georgia Museum of Art and on view there July 2-Aug. 28, 2011. Text was written by the exhibition's curator, Paul Manoguerra.

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  • Lamar Dodd: Paintings and Drawings

    July 2 August 28, 2011 Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia

  • Download a full checklist of this exhibition at www.georgiamuseum.org

    Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation, the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art, and the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations, and corporations provide additional support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation.

    front cover:Between Classes, 1940Oil on canvas23 3/4 x 45 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of Mary and Lamar DoddGMOA 1975.34F

    back cover:Study for View of Athens, ca. 1939Ink and graphite on paper9 7/8 x 14 3/8 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of Dr. Roy Ward, WatkinsvilleGMOA 1983.2

    Georgia Museum of ArtUniversity of Georgia90 Carlton StreetAthens, Georgia 30602-6719tel 706.542.GMOAgeorgiamuseum.org

  • Lamar Doddteacher, arts administrator, advocate, and artist

    rebuilt and revitalized the University of Georgias art department

    beginning in 1937. The most recognized artist of his generation from

    the state of Georgia, he is considered the godfather of the Georgia

    Museum of Art due to his work with museum founder Alfred Heber

    Holbrook. Reared in LaGrange, Dodd (19091996) was an impas-

    sioned exponent of the local scene movement, and his works of the

    1930s and 1940s featured southern landscapes, history, people, and

    industry. He also served as an ambassador of culture for the U.S.

    State Department, as two-term president of the College Art Associa-

    tion, and as a participant in the art program of the National Aeronau-

    tics and Space Administration (NASA). Believing that drawing was

    the mother of the arts, Dodd utilized the practice even as he moved

    from realism in the 1930s to Cubism and Abstract Expressionism in

    the late 1940s and 1950s and later into a mature style. Featuring one

    hundred images, this special exhibition during the museums reopen-

    ing year celebrates Dodds career and juxtaposes his drawings with

    many of his related watercolors and paintings. Ranging from the late

    1920s, when he was at the Art Students League in New York, to the

    1990s, the exhibition also includes the fi rst large-scale display of

    images from Dodds sketchbooks.

    The exhibition is generously sponsored by Helen C. Griffi th,

    Clementi L-B Holder, C. L. Morehead Jr., Dorothy Alexander Roush,

    the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation, and the Friends of the

    Georgia Museum of Art.

    Paul Manoguerra

    Chief curator and curator of American art

    Lamar Dodd: Paintings and Drawings

  • NEW YORK

    Dodd went to the Georgia Institute of Technology to study architecture in 1926

    but disliked it, returned home to LaGrange, and taught art in nearby Five Points,

    Alabama. In 1928, Dodd moved to New York, where he enrolled in George Bridg-

    mans drawing course at the Art Students League. With fellow artist Phil Dike,

    later a color director at Walt Disney Studios, he also took independent classes

    from painter George Luks. During his two years at the League, Dodd studied with

    Boardman Robinson, Richard Lahey, and John Steuart Curry and sketched in the

    city as well as in the classroom. In 1930, he came home to marry his high school

    sweetheart, Mary Ridley Lehmann, then returned to New York. In 1932, Ferargil

    Galleries mounted a solo exhibition of his work featuring images of both New

    York and the South.

    ALABAMA

    Offered a position in an art supply store in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1933, Dodd

    returned to the South. In 1936, he sent The Railroad Cut (right), a painting of a slag

    dump outside Wylam, Alabama, to the Art Institute of Chicago for its forty-seventh

    annual exhibition of American paintings and sculpture. The painting won the

    Norman Wait Harris Prizewith a silver medal and a $500 award. Dodd and

    Anne Goldthwaite were the only artists living in Alabama to have work chosen

    for the First National Exhibition of American Art in the International Building of

    Rockefeller Center in 1936. Interested in the southern landscape (in works like

    Alabama Landscape [right]), or in the everyday life of the southern city (in images

    like Bargain Basement, which pictures the bottom fl oor of Pizitz Department Store

    in Birmingham), Dodd became regarded nationally as a leading exponent of a

    distinctly southern American Scene style of painting.

    above, left to right:Urban Landscape (Manhattan: Buildings and the L), ca. 1932Cont crayon on paper, 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of the Lamar Dodd EstateGMOA 1997.152.1F

    Manhattan, 1932Watercolor on paper, 13 7/8 x 18 1/4 inchesCollection of C. L. Morehead Jr.

    opposite, top:Central Park, 1931Oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 39 5/8 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of Mary and Lamar DoddGMOA 1975.2F

    opposite, bottom, left to right:The Railroad Cut, 1936Oil on canvas, 37 11/16 x 49 5/8 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of Mary and Lamar DoddGMOA 1974.2F

    Alabama Landscape, 1937Oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 29 3/4 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of Mary and Lamar DoddGMOA 1975.17F

  • THE SOUTHEAST, GEORGIA, AND ATHENS

    In 1937, Dodd accepted a position as faculty in the University of Georgias art

    department. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, as he developed a national

    reputation as a symbol of the growing prominence of Southern art, he created

    images of the university, students, Athens, and the surrounding region (Art Digest,

    March 1940). The cotton fi elds, hills, peach orchards, and river shoals of the Ath-

    ens area provided Dodd with plentiful subjects. Coastline pictures, beginning in

    the late 1930s, of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and the Georgia coast focus on

    the windswept dunes, sea grasses, and waves along the beaches of the Atlantic.

    Exhibited at Ferargil Galleries, Sand, Sea, and Sky was purchased by the Metro-

    politan Museum of Art. In 1951, Dodds drawings of scenes in Savannah illustrated

    the book The Savannah, by Thomas L. Stokes, in the Rivers of America series. He

    also provided illustrations for a book on the Santee River published in 1968.

    above:Untitled (Sanford Stadium), 1960sOil and charcoal on canvas30 x 46 5/8 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of C. L. Morehead Jr.GMOA 1997.92

  • above:Early Morning, Copperhill, 1940Ink wash and graphite on paper8 1/2 x 14 3/8 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of Mary and Lamar DoddGMOA 1975.35F

    right:Oconee River, ca. 1938Ink and compressed charcoal on paper, 11 x 17 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of the Lamar Dodd EstateGMOA 1997.88F

  • clockwise from top left:Fisherman and His Catch, 1949Ink on paper, 10 x 8 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of the Lamar Dodd EstateGMOA 1997.381F

    Fishermans Equipment (Monhegan), n.d.Gouache and ink on paper, 8 1/4 x 13 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of the Lamar Dodd EstateGMOA 1997.624F

    Captain Pierce, 1949Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 21 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of Mary and Lamar DoddGMOA 1975.47F

    MONHEGAN

    In 1947, as the result of a Carnegie Foundation grant-in-aid, Dodd fi rst visited

    the small island of Monhegan off the coast of Maine. Artists like Robert Henri,

    Edward Hopper, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent, plus Dodds friends and

    acquaintances including Joseph De Martini and Ferdinand Warren, had been

    attracted by the islands rocky coastline and forested interior. Dodd made

    trips to Monhegan many, many times throughout his life, and images of the

    jagged cliffs, fi shermen and their equipment, trees, and boats fi ll his oeuvre.

    The Georgia A. Hearn Fund purchased his Monhegan Theme in 1951 for the

    Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • TRAVELS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ABROAD

    Whether in the American West in the 1930s and 1940s, or at Grand Coulee

    Dam in Washington state in the 1970s, Dodd sketched the local landscape

    and scenery and translated the imagery to fi nished oil paintings. In May 1952,

    Dodd earned a special grant of $10,000 from the General Education Board in

    New York to visit art centers in Europe and the United States. From Novem-

    ber 1953 to July 1954, Dodd and his family traveled to Italy, France, Spain,

    Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Holland, England, and Scotland. He would

    return to Europe later and created drawings and painting of European sights

    and scenes into the 1990s. The U.S. State Department appointed Dodd to its

    Advisory Committee on the Arts and sent him as well to Turkey, Belgium,

    Denmark, the Soviet Union, India, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan.

    clockwise from top left:Skyward, 1944Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 39 5/8 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Partial gift of C. L. Morehead Jr.GMOA 1998.66

    Study for Skyward, 1944Ink on paper, 6 1/2 x 8 inchesCollection of C. L. Morehead Jr.

    In Venice, 1956Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inchesCollection of C. L. Morehead Jr.

    Piazza San Marco, Venice, ca. 1953Graphite on paper, 5 3/4 x 8 3/4 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of the Lamar Dodd EstateGMOA 1997.476F

  • NASA AND THE COSMOS

    James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, initiated a program in 1961 to involve visual

    artists in the documentation and exploration of space. Lester Cooke of the National

    Gallery of Art and James Dean of NASAs Media Development Division invited artists,

    including Dodd, to observe every aspect of the U.S. space program. Dodd witnessed the

    Apollo 11 launch in Florida and was at mission control in Houston when Neil Armstrong

    and Buzz Aldrin fi rst walked on the moon in 1969. As a result of these experiences,

    Dodd not only created documentary imagery of the program, but also fashioned a

    series of visionary drawings and paintings featuring imagined, abstract cosmological

    landscapes and forms.

    below, left to right:Sketch for Cruci ed Sun, ca. 1972Ink on paper, 9 x 6 1/2 inchesGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Extended loan from the University of Georgia Foundation, gift of the Lamar Dodd EstateGMOA 1997.712F

    Cruci ed Sun, 1972Oil with gold and oxidized silver leaf on canvas57 3/4 x 45 7/8 inches (framed)Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Partial gift of C. L. Morehead Jr.GMOA 1999.47

  • HEART

    Mary Dodd was hospitalized at Emory University Hospital in 1977 for

    a serious heart condition, and Lamar began to investigate surgery,

    medical technology, and the operating room as subject matter for art.

    Eventually, Dodd would witness twenty-fi ve operations and was allowed

    to work anywhere except in the area where the chief surgeon was per-

    forming his tasks. The Heart series exists as an aesthetic exploration of

    the basic mysteries of life and death and serves as a lasting memorial

    to Mary, who died in 1986.

    above:Study for Open Heart Surgery, 1980Drawing, 52 x 32 inchesCollection of C. L. Morehead Jr.

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