Two works by Arthur B. Davies: (left) Dew Drops, not dated, Oil on canvas 13 x 15 5/8 in.; 33.02 x 39.6875 cm.. Acquired 1923. (Right) Elysian Fields, not dated, Oil on canvas 18 x 30 in.; 45.72 x 76.2 cm.. Acquired 1927.
Because our exhibition Made in the USA has a uniquely long run, we’re keeping the story going by swapping out some works for others. Just yesterday a crop of new paintings went up on the walls by Arthur B. Davies, Robert Spencer, and Albert Pinkham Ryder. Come see the show (again) to find other changes.
(Left) Robert Spencer, Across the Delaware, ca. 1916, Oil on canvas 14 x 14 in.; 35.56 x 35.56 cm.. Acquired by 1921, probably 1917. (Right) Albert Pinkham Ryder, Homeward Bound, ca. 1893-ca. 1894, Oil on canvas mounted on wood panel 8 7/8 x 18 in.; 22.5425 x 45.72 cm.. Acquired 1921.
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?
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?
Milton Avery, Shells and Fishermen, 1941, Oil on canvas 24 x 36 1/8 in.; 60.96 x 91.7575 cm. Acquired 1943. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
Milton Avery gathered lots of ideas for his paintings during summer travels chiefly in New England, but also in California, Mexico, and Europe, sketching them and then bringing them back for work in the studio. So when you’re packing for that Memorial Day getaway, be sure to throw in your sketchbook and a few pencils.
This work is currently on view in the Made in the USA exhibition.