cover of book

The Sensuous Life of Adolf Dehn: American Master of Watercolor and Printmaking
by Henry Adams
University of Missouri Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-0-8262-2214-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-7449-6
Library of Congress Classification N6537.D4355
Dewey Decimal Classification 709.2

Adolf Dehn belongs to a group of distinguished midcentury American artists who were eclipsed by Abstract Expressionism and the following movements in American art. His lithographs of the Roaring Twenties introduced a note of social satire into American printmaking. He was one of the most gifted and innovative printmakers of the American Scene movement of the 1930s and one of the most significant American watercolorists.

In this wide-ranging biography, Henry Adams explores how a once central figure can come to be forgotten. Noting that Dehn’s watercolor Spring in Central Park has been widely reproduced on calendars, postcards, and other Metropolitan Museum of Art souvenirs, Adams asks why it is that some artists are celebrated as key figures while others, even those who created images that form an integral part of our visual culture, are relatively unknown. With his account of the life of the prolific and influential Dehn, and a look at the circles of artists and writers in which Dehn moved, Adams helps to fill in what he calls the “secret or subterranean history of art.”
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