We are quite proud to continue our work for the Adolf and Virginia Dehn Foundation. This recent group involved five paintings and our efforts included restoration and building new custom frames. The landscapes received Marin and Dutch Modernist frames with black and silver, and Prudent and Scarlet received a Reverse Modernist frame in metal leaf. Restoration involved removing dirt particulates and addressing the areas of the paint film where it had suffered a loss of integrity, either due to scuffs and scraps, or dryness. These paintings were done on boards and several of the corners were broken and damaged and needed repairs.
In the early 1920’s, Dehn moved to Europe, and developed his imagery of cabaret, park scenes, burlesque, and European landscapes of the roaring 20’s. He returned to the Midwest during the depression and by 1936 he started to work in the watercolor medium. He discovered a fondness for its characteristics of finish, fluidity, and adaptability for effects that could be either deliberate or spontaneous.
It seems watercolors also agreed with Dehn’s open, effusive, and passionate character. During the 30’s and 40’s, his favorite subjects were Midwest and Northeast farmscapes. His eventual home of New York City also became a frequent subject matter as he captured the essence of the city’s burlesque, Central Park, Harlem nightclubs, industrial yards, and areas of high society. In 1951, he published a book called Water Color, Gouache and Casein Painting.
He died in New York City in May 1968, and left behind a vast body of lithographs, watercolors, drawings and prints, which are in the permanent collections of nearly 100 museums across the United States and Europe.