Arthur Wesley Dow was a prodigious artist and influential art educator near the turn of the century. He taught design, photography, painting, pottery, and printmaking for over thirty years at the Pratt Institute, Columbia Teacher’s College, and the Art Students League in New York City. Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Dow maintained a studio there staring in 1900, and returned every year to direct his Ipswich Summer School of Art. His first training in art was under Anna K. Freeland of Worchester, Massachusetts. He then went to Boston and Paris to continue his training. After returning to America and settling in Boston, Dow spent a great deal of time studying Japanese art, particularly woodblock prints. Highly influenced by Japanese ideas on compositional space in art, Dow went on to write a book titled Composition: A Series of Exercises in Art Structure for the Use of Students and Teachers. In it, he emphasizes line, color, and a balance of light. These were also emphases of his teaching career. His interest in Japanese composition comes through in the play between light and dark as well as the compositional spaces that Dow decides to use. His native Ipswich and the surrounding areas were frequent subjects for Dow, and Sunset Over Ipswich is one the finest examples.
-Constantine Botimer, Class of 2019