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Swing Music (Louis Armstrong)

A work made of emulsion, oil, and wax on canvas.

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  • A work made of emulsion, oil, and wax on canvas.




Arthur Dove
American, 1880–1946

About this artwork

Like many modernists, Arthur Dove sought to suggest a connection between his paintings and music, which he admired for its ability to suggest absolute feeling, free of reference to the material world. An ardent amateur musician, he depicted musical subjects throughout his career. In the late 1920s he began listening to music while painting and simultaneously initiated a series of works on forms of popular music such as jazz and swing. Swing Music (Louis Armstrong) celebrates the renowned jazz trumpeter, who, in the 1930s, led swing-style orchestras. For Dove this topic was especially attractive because it evoked the dynamism characteristic of 20th-century life. Its specifically American nature made it an ideal subject for the native modernism that Dove and the other artists from the circle of Alfred Stieglitz sought to establish. Stieglitz exhibited this painting at his gallery An American Place.

On View

American Art, Gallery 265


Arthur Dove


Swing Music (Louis Armstrong)


United States




Emulsion, oil, and wax on canvas


Signed bottom: "Dove"


44.8 × 65.7 cm (17 5/8 × 25 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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