|Death Date: May 19, 1968
|Painter and lithographer, Adolf Arthur Dehn, is known for his watercolor landscapes from the 1930s. Dehn was born on the family farm in Waterville, Minnesota. His father, a commercial trapper and fisherman, helped his son develop a deep love of the outdoors. It is said that he inherited his sociability and love for art and culture from his mother, and his independence and love of nature from his father. Dehn’s peaceful landscapes and village views tell us of his ties to the heartland.
At 18, Dehn left the farm to study at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He spent three years there before he was drafted into the Army during the final months of World War I. Most of the 1920s were spent in Europe, living in Paris, Vienna, Berlin and London. Late in 1929, Dehn settled in New York, spending the next decade making spoofs of Manhattan nightclubs, as well as studies of Central Park, rural New York and Minnesota.
A Guggenheim fellowship enabled him to work at the Colorado Springs Art Center during the early years of World War II. The mountains dazzled Dehn and even the gasoline shortages could not keep him from traveling to the Rockies. His excitement over the Colorado landscape resulted in some of his most distinguished watercolors and lithographs. He made numerous pencil sketches on the spot, using his carefully worked color notations when he returned to his studio. Dehn’s style is considered realistic, although expressed with wit and understanding of the subject.
Throughout his life, Dehn never stopped traveling, transferring his impressions to his sketch pad from Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.