Andrée's Balloon

(180)
1929–30
Sheldrake, NY & Provincetown, MA
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Dated, signed lower left: "1928 [sic] E W Dickinson"
printed at top center of verso, "E.W. Dickinson"
Photo: The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Notes

Notes: Painted in Sheldrake, NY and Provincetown, MA. There is no evidence whatever that the painting was begun in 1928. January 1929, "stretched 25-30, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 25, 28, March 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, April 3, 4, 5, 6, (journal). In Provincetown June 13, July 31, August 1, 18, 19, September 4, 5. 1930, August 6 "AndrČe's body found." September 7 "reading AndrČe expedition", (journal).

Artist's note: "Sheldrake motif.""painted in the cottage in the winter."

To EHS, April 30, 1929, in Sheldrake he painted principally "on a 25-30 of a glen, an indoor landscape on which I shall continue to work for some time." To EHS, May 13, 1929, "Working also on a 25 x 30, a long one, begun at Sheldrake, a landscape." To EHS, November 27, 1929: "When it is done I will send you a photograph of a 25x30 on which have had many sittings . . . It is looking down a deep glen from a high point, rocks trees clouds & other objects seen in what will be I think mysterious style, is the idea . . . An imaginary landscape, painted indoors." To EHS, June 2, 1930; "At present all my work is on the new 63/72 & the 25/30 of the Glen on which I have worked off & on for 1 1/2 years."

Painting was first titled "Composition, The Glen." HDB believes the balloon was added after discovery of the AndrČe expedition bodies in 1930. On July 11, 1897 August AndrČe (1854-97) with two companions endeavered to fly over the North Pole by balloon. A Norwegian surveying party found the bodies in 1930. Their diaries and letters were also found and their photographic plates when developed, provided exceptionally clear prints of the expedition's last days.

Provenance

Maltby Kimball
Mrs. Ansley W. Sawyer
Ansley W. Sawyer, Jr.
James Graham & Sons
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Exhibition History

1961 James Graham & Sons: Edwin Dickinson, Retrospective
1965 Whitney: Edwin Dickinson. Major retrospective
1982b NAD: Art Students League Benefit Sale