Dodd, Lamar

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b. Fairburn, Ga.; d. Sept. 21, 1996, Athens, Ga.

From the description of Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. (Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)). WorldCat record id: 86101080

Painter and educator (Athens, Ga.). Born in 1909, Dodd taught at the University of Georgia. In addition, he was chairman of of the committee that revitalized Gutzon Borglum's carving project at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in the early sixties.

From the description of Lamar Dodd selected papers, 1928-1976. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122565447

Lamar Dodd was not only the most recognized artist of his generation from the state of Georgia but also a passionate advocate for the arts and a skilled administrator. His most visible legacy is the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. Born on September 22, 1909 in Fairburn and reared in LaGrange, Dodd took classes at LaGrange Female College (later LaGrange College) when he was twelve years old. After a brief stay at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, he taught art in rural Alabama, only to realize that he had to leave the South to advance his training. He enrolled at the Art Students League in New York City, where his primary teachers were Boardman Robinson and Richard Lahey. He also took private classes from George Luks, an artist associated with the Ashcan School, a movement in painting, printmaking, and illustration in New York during the 1900s and 1910s. Influenced by the Ashcan School's emphasis on everyday scenes of urban life painted in a somber palette, Dodd equally absorbed the teachings of John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton, American Scene artists who preached a gospel of nativist art in the 1920s and 1930s. This amalgam characterized his style when he returned south to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1933 to work in an artists' supply store. To anyone who would listen, he championed a "local art," one that featured southern scenes, southern history, and southern people. As one reviewer remarked of his first solo show in New York in 1932, Dodd's paintings, one after another, all so consciously anti-academic, evoke "Georgia, Georgia, Georgia." As part of a national movement to put working artists into universities, Dodd was appointed to the faculty of the University of Georgia in 1937. Within three years he had consolidated all teaching of the visual arts into one department and had even enrolled the first graduate students in a master's program. The department grew quickly and, thanks to his efforts, is today one of the largest, most comprehensive art schools in the United States. In the 1940s Dodd continued to paint the local scene, but he also began to expand that territory to include the north Georgia mountains and South Carolina's coast and islands. Later in the decade he discovered Monhegan Island, off the coast of Maine, whose grassy shore and picturesque village had inspired artists since the nineteenth century. In the 1950s Dodd began to travel all over the world, first to Europe to study the old masters as well as his more immediate nineteenth-century predecessors, including Paul Cézanne, and later as a cultural emissary for the State Department to the Soviet Union, the Mideast, and Asia. Consequently his palette became brighter, and his brushstroke and technique adapted to the spreading influence of the abstract expressionists. The next two decades saw the creation of two definitive series in which the subjective realism, the cubist tendencies, and the near abstraction of his earlier career combined to serve the purposes of depicting what would appear to be total opposites, the vastness of the cosmos and the small but vital universe of the surgical amphitheater. Invited by NASA to document humanity's conquest of space, Dodd in 1963 began work on a series of paintings that required him to adopt a vivid, expressionistic style. The symbols of moon and sun are no longer dreamy metaphors but acquire a strong presence through the heavy application of paint, or impasto. The horizon becomes curved as if viewed from above rather than from on the ground. Shiny pigments in layers of gold and silver leaf call attention to the flatness of these canvases, to their tactile surfaces. They glow and glimmer and are highly reflective. Dodd suggested a type of story, at least a symbolic one, by paneling some of these works into triptychs (three side-by-side panels), the central one always the most important in these cosmic scenes. In some, Dodd rejected colors for blacks and whites, the former for the void of space, the latter for the lunar glare or extraterrestrial light. In others the gold and silver leaf bring immediately to mind Renaissance artists and their own otherworldly, intellectual preoccupations. In the late 1970s Dodd used similar means to investigate another, more intimate universe-that of the human heart. Again, many of the paintings are segmented so that echograms, x-rays, or microscopic studies of tissue are relegated to the periphery of the central subject, heart surgery, for which they are in service. The detailed drawings for these paintings allowed him to block out his canvases into zones of activity. Again he used, sparingly, gold and silver for their symbolic value; in some the "frame" becomes a headboard in abstract relief where "readings" of heart function or catheterization can be deciphered. It is no accident that many of the Heart series are cruciform or circular; again shape is symbolic, elemental, and linked to the "life" of the subject: rebirth through cure. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dodd returned to the natural world for his subjects. The seascapes of Monhegan Island in Maine were a favorite subject, as were the sunflowers of America and Europe. Usually in watercolor, these works are buoyant in mood and betray the optimism of an artist who continued to marvel at the intricate mystery of the everyday. His artistic vocabulary had become again the crisp stroke, the short burst of paint that erupted from white space: "sparks of color" that radiated from the skier's foot, from the wave's splash against stone, or from the glistening dew on a petal. Dodd was again urging his viewer, his student, to look closely, to join him in acknowledging the pull of the center, the essential in nature. He went full circle, from analysis of his own backyard to a study of the cosmic forces that defined all of us and, finally, back to a private, personalized universe where he asked his viewer to join him in an appreciation of the nearness of beauty. Before his death in 1996 Dodd went back to his roots in the American Scene movement, but this time, tempered by the late-century's emphasis on the relevant, the social, and the violent, he tackled such subjects as the bloody glove from O. J. Simpson's murder trial (1995). For fully two-thirds of the twentieth century, Lamar Dodd represented Georgia's visual arts community as administrator, teacher, and advocate, and as the most influential Georgia artist of his generation. New Georgia Encyclopedia - Lamar Dodd (1909-1996) (Retrieved November 17 2009)

From the description of Lamar Dodd collection, 1930s-1960s. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 466396111

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976. Hudson D. Walker papers, 1920-1982. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Valdosta State University. Dept. of Art. [Papers], 1946- Valdosta State University, Odum Library
referencedIn Craft, John Richard, 1909-. John Richard Craft papers, 1909-1992; (bulk, 1954-1992). University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Douglas, Laura Glenn, 1888-1962. Laura Glenn Douglas papers, 1899-1979. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Mississippi Art Colony. Mississippi Art Colony records, ca. 1954-1991. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Fortess, Karl E. (Karl Eugene), 1907-. Karl E. Fortess taped interviews with artists, [1963-1985]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Thomas, Howard, 1899-1971. Howard Thomas papers, 1888, 1895, 1899-1974 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Bethers, Ray, 1902-. Ray Bethers papers, 1949-1950. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Adler, Samuel, 1898-. Samuel Adler papers, 1902-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Caldwell, Harmon White, 1899-1977. Harmon Caldwell papers, 1916-1991, bulk 1954-1962. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Howard Norton Cook Papers, 1866-1979 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. Lamar Dodd : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
referencedIn Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Zorach, William, 1889-1966. William Zorach papers, 1822-1974 (bulk 1930-1968). Library of Congress
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. Lamar Dodd collection, 1930s-1960s. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf De Creeft, José, 1884-1982. José de Creeft papers, 1908-2004. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn John DeWitt papers, 1962-1979 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Roberts, Colette, 1910-. Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists, 1918-1971. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946. John Steuart Curry and Curry family papers, 1897-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Dodd, Lamar : Biographical file. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
referencedIn Dodd, Lamar, 1909- : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. Lamar Dodd selected papers, 1928-1976. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. [Lamar Dodd] : artist file John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library, Ringling Museum Library
referencedIn Douglas, Laura Glenn, 1888-1962. Papers, 1899-1979. South Carolina Newspaper Project
creatorOf Daniel M. Mendelowitz papers, [ca. 1950-1970]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Carnegie Corporation of New York. Study of Arts of the United States. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1956-1961, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf DeWitt, John, 1910-1984. John DeWitt papers, 1962-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. Lamar Dodd : [vertical file]. Morris Museum of Art Library
referencedIn Phil Dike Collection, 1932-2000 Claremont Colleges. Library.
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Powell, John Wesley, 1905-1990. Lamar Dodd collection, 1965-1990. Georgia Southern University
referencedIn Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Georgia Center film and videotape collection, circa 1930-2007. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn William Zorach Papers, 1822-1974, (bulk 1930-1968) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Dodd, Lamar. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1958-1963. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adler, Samuel, 1898- person
associatedWith Bethers, Ray, 1902- person
correspondedWith Caldwell, Harmon White, 1899-1977. person
associatedWith Carnegie Corporation of New York. Study of Arts of the United States. corporateBody
associatedWith Cook, Howard Norton, 1901-1980 person
correspondedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995 person
correspondedWith Craft, John Richard, 1909- person
associatedWith Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946. person
associatedWith De Creeft, José, 1884-1982. person
associatedWith DeWitt, John person
associatedWith DeWitt, John, 1910-1984. person
associatedWith Dike, Phil, 1906-1990 person
associatedWith Douglas, Laura Glenn, 1888-1962. person
associatedWith Fortess, Karl E. (Karl Eugene), 1907- person
associatedWith Lamar Dodd, person
correspondedWith Lamar Dodd School of Art corporateBody
associatedWith Mendelowitz, Daniel Marcus. person
associatedWith Mississippi Art Colony. corporateBody
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Roberts, Colette, 1910- person
associatedWith The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Thomas, Howard, 1899-1971. person
associatedWith University of Georgia corporateBody
associatedWith Valdosta State University. Dept. of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Voice of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976. person
correspondedWith Zorach, William, 1889-1966. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Art, American
Art teachers
Art--American (?)--Reproductions
Painting, Modern


Birth 1909-09-22

Death 1996-09-26




Ark ID: w68p62dp

SNAC ID: 8935532