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Arthur Bowen Davies, American 1862-1928

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Oil: N. America: American: Pre 1910: Item # 980690

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Arthur Bowen Davies, American 1862-1928
Oil on canvas, signed lower left, 20" x 30" image size and 26" x 36" in the frame. Titled "Adam and Eve" Bio from Owen Gallery: Arthur Bowen Davies, the fourth of five children, was born in Utica, New York. His first formal art training was at the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1880s. By the end of the decade, Davies moved to New York City and began exhibiting his artwork. He was one of eight artists included in the landmark exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908. The show was meant as a protest to the conservative tastes of the National Academy of Design. Many of the artists of The Eight, a term later used for them, followed the Ashcan School aesthetic of Robert Henri. The paintings of Davies, however, lack an interest in coarse realism. According to Brian Paul Clamp, "Davies's scenes are of the imagination. Nymphs and fairies frolic in pastoral landscapes which resonate with allegorical and mythic overtones." Though Davies's work is not well understood today, he was certainly well respected and widely collected in his own day. His contribution to the promotion of progressive American art must be noted. Aside from his participation in the organization of The Eight exhibition, he was the primary creative and administrative force behind the pivotal Armory Show of 1913, which first brought the full force of Modernism to the United States.


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