We Jazz June

In honor of the DC Jazz Festival and our own Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days this weekend, here are some works in the collection to get your toes tapping, all of which relate to jazz. Can you see it?

collection music

Clockwise from top left: Gene Davis, Jasmine Jumper, 1966, Acrylic on canvas 119 1/2 x 161 1/2 in.; 303.53 x 410.21 cm.. Gift of Florence Coulson Davis In Memory of Gene Davis, 1992. Stuart Davis, Egg Beater No. 4, 1928, Oil on canvas 27 1/8 x 38 1/4 in.; 68.8975 x 97.155 cm.. Acquired 1939. Elizabeth Murray, Jazz, 2001, 3-dimensional lithograph, Edition 7 of 46 overall: 30 in x 34 in x 4 in; 76.2 cm x 86.36 cm x 10.2 cm. Purchased with funds from the estate of Nathan and Jeanette Miller, 2007. Arthur G., Dove, Me and the Moon, 1937, Wax emulsion on canvas 18 x 26 in.; 45.72 x 66.04 cm.. Acquired 1939. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC.

Gene Davis said, in a 1975 interview, “My work is mainly about intervals, that is, like in music. Music is essentially time interval, and I’m interested in space interval.”  He was also known to say that he painted “by eye” the way a jazz musician plays “by ear”. Stuart Davis collected jazz records that he played while he worked, replaying them much as he repeated visual elements in his paintings. His daily calendars chronicle purchases of new albums and when he played them. Elizabeth Murray captures the vibrant sound and broken branches of jazz improvisation in her colorful print, Jazz (2001). And Arthur Dove’s Me and the Moon (1937) is named after the 1936 song which he heard on the radio while he worked.

What visual art makes you think of jazz?