A Measure of Dreams, ca. 1908
Arthur Bowen Davies (1862 – 1928)
Born in Utica, New York, Arthur Davies gained a reputation for ethereal figure paintings, ones that expressed lightness and mysticism. He was also a principal organizer of the 1913 Armory Show that revolutionized American art by introducing modernism to the viewing public.
He attended the Chicago Academy of Design and from 1879 to 1882, traveled in the West, to Colorado and Mexico City where he worked as a drafting civil engineer. He briefly attended the Chicago Art Institute, and in 1885 moved to New York City where he studied at the Art Students League and Gotham Art Students League. He supported himself as a billboard painter, engineering draftsman, and magazine illustrator.
In 1893, he made the first of many trips to Europe, visiting Holland, Paris, and London. He particularly studied the Dutch realist painters, the Maris brothers. He settled in Congers, New York and from there traveled extensively throughout the United States.
He developed a style that combined the visionary with Symbolism with elements of Tonalism, Art Nouveau, and Cubism and became increasingly interested in expressing a feeling of lightness in figural compositions.
He also did printmaking, having begun in the 1880s and producing some two-hundred graphic works between 1916 and his death in 1928.
His work is represented in over 100 museums including: Addison Gallery of American Art; Allen Memorial Art Museum; Arizona State University Art Museum; Arnot Art Museum; Art Institute of Chicago; Ball State University Museum of Art; Boca Raton Museum of Art; Brandywine River Museum; Butler Institute of American Art; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford; Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh/Carnegie ; Cheekwood Museum of Art & Botanical Garden; Chrysler Museum of Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Colby College Museum of Art; Colorado Historical Society; Crocker Art Museum; Delaware Art Museum; Denver Art Museum; Everson Museum Of Art; Flint Institute of Arts; Frederick R Weisman Art Museum; George Walter Vincent Smith Museum; Georgia Museum of Art; Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art; High Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Hunter Museum of American Art; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Jack S Blanton Museum of Art; Joslyn Art Museum; LaSalle University Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Lyman Allyn Museum; Maier Museum of Art; Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum; Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum; Mead Art Museum; Memorial Art Gallery; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Michael C Carlos Museum; Michelson Museum of Art; Middlebury College Museum of Art; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Minnesota Museum of American Art; Mobile Museum of Art; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute; Musees Nationaux Paris; Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia; Museum of Art at Brigham Young University; Museum of Art at Brigham Young University; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of New Mexico; Muskegon Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art; Neuberger Museum of Art; New Jersey State Museum; New Orleans Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of California; Oklahoma City Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; Portland Art Museum; Reading Public Museum; Rhode Island School of Design-Museum of Art; Robert Hull Fleming Museum; Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College; San Diego Museum of Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Sheldon Museum of Art; Sheldon Swope Art Museum; Smithsonian American Art Museum ; Telfair Museum of Art; The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie; The Art Museum, Princeton University; The Brooklyn Museum of Art; The Columbus Museum of Art-Ohio; The Columbus Museum-Georgia; The Dayton Art Institute; The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Hickory Museum of Art; The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art; The John H. Vanderpoel Art Association; The Montclair Art Museum; The Museum of Modern Art; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Newark Museum; The Parrish Art Museum; The Phillips Collection; The Toledo Museum of Art; The University of Arizona Museum of Art; The University of Michigan Museum of Art; The WashingtonCounty Museum of Fine Arts; University of Wyoming Art Museum; USC Fisher Gallery; USC Fisher Gallery; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Worcester Art Museum; and Yale University Art Gallery.
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Artists
Biography from the Archives of AskART.