I must admit that I’d never heard of the Chicago painter Manierre Dawson before seeing this picture at the Met the other day. It’s called “The Meeting (The Three Graces)" and is dated 1912 – a date that makes Dawson one of the very first American modernists. He’d done a tour of Europe in 1910, but apparently the roots of his geometrical style don’t depend on Picasso. It seems he was offered a spot in the great Armory Show, but turned it down – and then went on to buy a Duchamp that he saw in it. I’m not saying Dawson’s up there with Cubism’s founders, but even coming close, as early as he did, makes him deserve a name check.
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