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Dunbar Dyson Beck (1903-1986)
Dunbar Dyson Beck (1903-1986)


Dunbar Dyson Beck (1903-1986)
signed 'Dunbar/Beck' (lower right)
oil on canvas
30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm.)
Painted circa 1940s.
The artist.
Estate of the above.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.

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Lot Essay

Dunbar Dyson Beck was a muralist, teacher, interior designer and painter. In 1927, after receiving his BFA from Yale University, he won the prestigious Prix de Rome award for his painting Adoration. He spent the following three years studying at the American Academy in Rome. Upon his return, he taught at Columbia University and Cooper Union in New York. Commissioned works occupied much of his time during the 1930s and 1940s, ranging from murals, including Radio City Music Hall, New York, to ecclesiastical commissions, such as St. Roses' Chapel in Sacramento, California, and more uniquely, a frieze for the case of a Steinway concert grand piano that was given to the White House by Steinway & Sons, which received by President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt with great pleasure.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Beck painted a series of paintings thematically focused on prize-fighting; the present work is third in the series of eight. The paintings were inspired by an unpublished play, "The National Ring". The present work with its emanating circles of light, and repetition of the raised fist and muscular arm, is an impressive example of the drama and underlying psychological effects which the series conveyed.

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