Dawson Dawson-Watson, River Birches
Dawson Dawson-Watson (1864-1939)  River Birches, ca. 1910, oil on canvas
Dawson Dawson-Watson (1864-1939)
 River Birches, ca. 1910, oil on canvas
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis
Dawson-Watson was the son of painter and illustrator John Dawson-Watson of London, England. As a child, Dawson-Watson was surrounded by the artists, authors and actors who lived in the family’s fashionable neighborhood. He studied art from a young age, first in England then in Paris and Giverny, France where he met the American artist Carl Beckwith. It was at Beckwith’s urging that Dawson-Watson first visited the United States, and he spent the next eleven years living in areas of New England and Canada. In 1904 he accepted an invitation to teach at Washington University’s School of Fine Arts. For the next thirteen years he became an influential member of St. Louis’s artistic community. Dawson-Watson later moved to Texas where he continued his successful career until his death in 1939.

The painting River Birches is from the period of Dawson-Watson’s work in St. Louis and reflects the influence of the Impressionist artists in Giverny in its emphasis on the play of light and in the loose, broken brushwork.