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Arthur F. Mathews
Spring Dance
about 1917
oil
51 7/8 x 47 5/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David J. Carlson



Mathews and his wife Lucia worked in San Francisco, where they helped establish the California Arts and Crafts movement. Spring Dance celebrates the same joy in health and exercise associated with California today. The composition also reveals Mathews's interest in flattening forms into decorative patterns. The ornamental rhythm of clouds, trees, grass, and dancers, painted in soft pastel tones, creates a lively visual dance. The frame, a reproduction of one of Mathews's original designs, highlights his interest in elegant decoration.