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John Dos Passos and His World

September 26 to December 07, 2003

Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond Museums


One of America's most innovative writers, John Dos Passos (1896-1970) also completed more than four hundred paintings and drawings that chronicle his life's journeys. In fifty years, Dos Passos wrote forty-two literary works, and his novels Manhattan Transfer (1925) and the trilogy U.S.A. (published together in 1938) provide a panoramic social history of the first three decades of the twentieth century. Similarly, his paintings captured the times in which he lived and addressed the world around him, in landscapes from Manhattan, Mexico, and North Africa, portraits of friends and figure studies, and illustrations from plays and novels.

The intellectual and artistic development of Dos Passos was first nourished through his acquaintances with Picasso, Fernand Léger, and the Russian émigré Natalia Gontcharova. Included in our exhibition are artworks created for or given to the artist by his friends, such as Léger, Wood Gaylor, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Waldo Peirce.

The exhibition is based on The Art of John Dos Passos, an exhibition organized and circulated by International Arts & Artists in conjunction with Lucy Dos Passos Coggin, the artist's daughter. Curators for the presentation at the Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond Museums, are Lucy Dos Passos Coggin and Welford Dunaway Taylor, Professor of English, The James A. Bostwick Chair of English, University of Richmond, with assistance from N.Elizabeth Schlatter, Assistant Director, University Museums. At the Marsh Art Gallery, University Museums, the exhibition is made possible in part with the generous support of the University's Cultural Affairs Committee. In particular, we would like to thank Lucy Dos Passos Coggin for her assistance.

Richard Waller
Executive Director
University of Richmond Museums

Publication Date



University of Richmond Museums


Richmond, VA


John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer, painting, artist, author, U.S.A.


Art and Design | Fine Arts | Painting

John Dos Passos and His World