The Manierre Dawson Gallery

Honors America's pioneer of abstract art

Opened in 2010, the art exhibition gallery in the Arts and Sciences Center is dedicated and named in honor of the late Manierre Dawson.

Dawson was a 55 year resident of Riverton Township (Mason County), and is considered to be America’s pioneer of abstract art.  Recent scholarship has suggested he was the first artist in the world to paint in completely non-representational form. Dawson’s 20th century modernism challenged his viewers’ preconceived ideas of art and, until recently, has been one of history’s most overlooked American artists.

In response to a proposal submitted by Professor Emeritus of English Sharon Bluhm, the college’s trustees named the gallery in Dawson’s honor which recognizes the legacy of a prominent American artist and Mason County resident.

The college owns four pieces of artwork by Dawson. In 2013, Peter Lockwood of Arlington, Texas and grandson of Dawson, presented an Untitled Abstraction, ca. 1912, oil on wood panel from his family’s private collection to the college. The college’s three other Dawson pieces are House at Bridge, 1910, oil on wood panel (gift of Peter Lockwood); and two composite wood sculptures Untitled - Labyrinth, 1955, a gift of Manierre Dawson; and Acrobats,1954, a gift from the estate of Mason County resident Reginald O. Yaple who purchased the sculpture from Dawson in the 1960s.

WSCC is on a short list with prominent art museums who own multiple Dawson works in their permanent collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago, among others.