Dove returned to America in 1909 and met Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz, the eldest child of a New York rich family and was send to study in Germany at the age of 16 where he was overtaken with the passion of photography. In 1905 he returned to New York with 15 years of experience he was at the front lines to make photography respected as one of the fine art. Alfred Stieglitz was a well known photographer and gallery owner who was very active in promoting modern art in America. In his attempt to educate the art public, he started to introduce other art besides photography. Along with American modernists he would show European work. These pieces had never been seen in the United States. Stieglitz was a New York art world celebrity. Dove made the decision to quit his career as an illustrator but was in need of artistic identity along with emotional bolstering and Stieglitz filled both. The photographer was 61, 16 years younger than Dove and with Anglo-Saxon heritage, being Protestant with a small town background was in contrast to Stieglitz??s experience being urban, Jewish and rooted in European culture. Dove was gentle, quite, and a good friend while Stieglitz was argumentative and shrewd. They both had in common that they believed art forms should embody modern spiritual values not materialism and tradition. Stieglitz was later the husband of the famed painter Georgia O??Keeffe. With Stiegliz??s support, Dove produced what are known as the first purely abstract paintings to come out of America. Dove exhibited his works at Stieglitz??s ??291?? gallery in 1910 and in 1912 when he had his first one-man exhibition. The 1910 show ??Younger American Painters?? put Dove in the company of his old friend Maurer. Dove showed one painting, a large still life painted in France ??The Lobster??, which would be his last representational work. The 1912 show at the ??291??, Doves only one man showed a group of pastels that came to be know as ??Ten Commandments??, would be the first public display of nonillusionistic art by an American. In the two years since meeting Stieglitz Dove found himself as a leader in international art developments. From 1912 to 1946 Dove showed his work yearly at Stieglitz??s galleries, ??291??, ??intimate Gallery?? and ??An American Place.?? Dove??s works were based in natural forms and he referred to his form of abstraction as ??extraction,?? in essence, extracting the essential forms of a scene from a nature.
ID: 19006 League of Nations 1914, pastel on thin paper mounted on pulp board, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia.