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Silver Tanks

A work made of oil and metallic paint on canvas, mounted on panel.

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  • A work made of oil and metallic paint on canvas, mounted on panel.




Arthur Dove
American, 1880–1946

About this artwork

In Silver Tanks, Arthur Dove juxtaposed contemporary manmade elements with the timeless forces of nature: large industrial tanks, which the artist rendered in metallic paint, are contrasted with a massive, glowing moon. By depicting only an abstracted section of the tanks, Dove accentuated their vertical thrust and downplayed their function. The moon, a shimmering blue circle, is enlarged and surrounded with a dynamic aura. Both moon and tanks are seen in close proximity, making the moon appear equal to the tanks. In doing so, Dove did not unabashedly celebrate the human power implied by such industrial structures. Instead, he presented them as transformed by nature’s strength.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Arthur Dove


Silver Tanks


United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil and metallic paint on canvas, mounted on panel


signed l.r.: "Dove"


54.6 × 77.5 cm (21 1/2 × 30 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Leo S. Guthman

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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