Dove’s Geneva

Panoramic photograph of Geneva and Seneca Lake waterfront pre-1937.  Courtesy of Geneva Historical Society


by Laurel C. Wemett


Dove’s Geneva, a new exhibit mounted by the Geneva Historical Society, is for the first time examining landmark local buildings linked to members of the Dove family who were contractors going back three generations.  Of special interest is the city’s changing appearance during the periods when artist Arthur Dove (1880-1946), a member of the fourth generation, lived there. Historic photographs contrast the Geneva of Arthur’s youth at the end of the 19th century with the 1930s when he returned to the city for several years.  Find out where Dove, an internationally known modernist artist, and commonly regarded as one of the founders of modern art in America, lived and painted. The exhibit will reference some of the art works completed by Dove in Geneva.

Panoramic photograph of Geneva and Seneca Lake waterfront pre-1937.  Courtesy of Geneva Historical Society

Dove’s Geneva opens to the public on Saturday, June 30 at 11:00 a.m. in the first floor gallery of the Geneva History Museum, at the Prouty-Chew House, 543 South Main Street.   Prior to the opening of the exhibit, a tour   at the Dove Block Building from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  will be led by Hobart & William Smith College Professor Emeritus Jim Spates. He is among those spearheading the restoration of this downtown building built in 1878 on Exchange Street by Arthur Dove’s father, William G. Dove.  Registration for this tour is required by calling (315) 789-5151. Only the first of   the building’s three floors is handicapped accessible. Children accompanied by an adult are welcome.  

Arthur Dove, date unknown. Courtesy of Geneva Historical Society

Refreshments will be offered at 10:00 a.m. in the museum followed by a panel discussion on the importance of Arthur Dove in Geneva.   Special guests are author and independent art historian Alan Pensler and Princeton University’s Rachel De Lue, two distinguished Arthur Dove scholars who will be in Geneva to support the Dove Block restoration effort.  Each has recently authored a book on Dove which will be available for purchase.       

 Dove’s Geneva runs from June 30 to September 22.  Museum Hours:  Monday-Friday, 9:30-4:30, Saturday, 12-5, closed Sundays.  Admission, suggested donation: $3. Street parking.    (315) 789-5151; 

Dove Tour:  A free rack card for a self-conducted walking or driving tour will be available   highlighting buildings where Arthur lived and those the family business constructed in Geneva.

On July 11, Geneva History Museum Executive Director, Kerry Lippincott will conduct a walking tour of Arthur Dove sites, including, with Professor Spates, the Dove Block.  To attend, meet at the museum at 7 p.m. (fee applies); Rain or shine.

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