Portrait of John Washington Love

Dewey Bates (American, 1851-1899)

Currently on View in WH103
Image Licensing

The casual pose of the portrait allows Love's personality to emerge.

The setting may have been a studio in the newly formed Indiana School of Art, the state's first art school.

Bates and Love settled in Indianapolis after studying together in Paris.


Very little is written about Dewey Bates’ life and career. He was born in Philadelphia and received his art training in Antwerp, Paris and London. His move to Indiana was probably influenced by his Indianapolis relatives and his friendship with John Washington Love, who had been a fellow student in Paris. Both artists arrived in Indianapolis in 1876. Bates and Love, along with James Gookins helped establish the first Indiana School of Art in 1877. The school was short-lived and closed after only two years.

The friendship between Bates and Love is apparent in the inscription on this portrait which reads, “a mon ami, John Love” (to my friend, John Love). Bates places his subject in a room that is probably an artist’s studio, possible part of the newly formed Indiana School of Art. The sitter’s casual pose is enhanced by his outdoor attire and posture and the dog that sits beside the chair gazing up at him.


The little information available on Dewey Bates can be found in the artist’s file at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Stout Library.

Mrs. Charles D. Johnson, the artist's sister; given to the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1917.

Object Information

Dewey Bates (American, 1851-1899)
creation date
about 1878
oil on canvas
22-3/4 x 16-3/4 in. (canvas)
27-3/4 x 22 x 2-1/2 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
Inscribed and dated, l.r.: A MON AMI / J. W. LOVE / D. B. 1878
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mrs. C. D. Johnson
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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