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Arthur B. Davies

September 26, 1862 - October 24, 1928


Arthur Bowen Davies was an avant-garde artist whose work, reminiscent of 19th-century romanticism, formed a critical bridge between 19th-century European art and 20th-century American modernism. Arthur Bowen Davies was born in Utica, New York, in 1862 and began art from a young age, selling his first sculpture at the age of twelve for twenty-five dollars. He first studied under Dwight Williams, later traveling and being instructed in Chicago, New York City, and Europe. The Macbeth Gallery displayed his first solo exhibition in 1896, and his career grew. In 1908, he exhibited with the modernist art group , The Eight, and was their principal organizer of the 1913 Armory Show. Arthur Bowen Davies rose to be president of the Society of Independent Artists. He carried on a decades-long affair with one of his former models, even living with her in a separate residence under a fake name. His double life remains the most-remembered detail of his personal life. Arthur Bowen Davies died of a heart attack in 1928 while on a trip to Florence. Arthur Bowen Davies was a mystical and creative artist, his work often drawing from his dreams. He most often depicted female nudes, drawing them in fantastical strokes. Although he adopted a cubist style for some years prior to his death, he always returned to romanticism.

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