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Gene Davis papers, 1920-2000, bulk 1942-1990

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Series 7: Photographs , 1920-2000
3.8 Linear feet
Boxes 11-15, 17, OV 19

Photographs include personal photographs of Gene and Florence Davis and their families, portraits of Gene Davis, photographs of Gene Davis with artworks and working in the studio, Davis' art classes and students, installations of site-specific works, conceptual and video works, exhibition openings, and photographs of artwork, both installed in exhibitions and individually photographed. Also found are three disassembled photograph albums with similar content. Photographic media include prints, contact sheets, negatives, Polaroid prints, slides, and transparencies. Scattered 4x5" Copy negatives appear to have been created for the catalog to the 1987 memorial exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and envelopes containing these negatives sometimes provide additional identifying information not on the original print.
Images of Gene Davis are scattered throughout the series, either alone or in groups, and other people pictured are not typically identified. Where people are identified on the original photographs, their names are included in the folder list below. Among those identified in photographs are Harry Truman, John L. Lewis, J. Edgar Hoover, Walter Hopps, Jacob Kainen, Ed McGowin, Douglas Davis, Jane Livingston, Joan Mondale, and Bob Woodward. Three photograph albums that were disassembled upon accession of the collection are filed at the beginning of the series. Many of the photographs in these albums are from groups of prints filed elsewhere in the series. Album photographs include portraits of Davis, childhood photographs, Davis working as a journalist and model early in life, snapshots from travels and social gatherings, Davis's Washington, D.C. home, Davis in his studio, art classes, installations of site-specific works, and artworks.
Loose photographs comprise the remainder of the series and include personal photographs and art-related photographs. Personal photographs include portraits of Gene Davis and Florence Coulson Davis, family photographs, and snapshots taken over a period of twenty years showing the Davis's with family and friends at home and traveling abroad. Portraits and snapshots are followed by several sets of photographs showing art classes, art students, and models for classes presumably taught by Davis. Other art-related photographs include openings for Gene Davis exhibitions, visits to other museum and gallery exhibitions, installations of Davis's site-specific works, and photographs of the 1969 "Giveaway" event. Snapshots of Davis's studio, some with Davis pictured and some without, are also found.
Photographs of artwork include prints, slides, transparencies, and Polaroid prints of drawings, paintings, and video art by Davis, shot individually and also shown installed in specific exhibitions. Prints are typically identified by title and date and sometimes collection, and some prints contain information about their creation or reproduction. Also found are exhibition views of installed works spanning Davis' career. Photographs of artwork and exhibition views are black and white prints unless otherwise indicated in the folder list. Among the exhibition views are four videocassettes (VHS) of the 1987 retrospective at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art.
Snapshots are grouped in sets of photographs that were shot or processed at the same time wherever possible. Some of these sets include scattered individual shots not relating to the general subject matter named in the folder heading. Where photographs with similar content or from the same group of photographs have been divided between the albums and loose photographs, similar folder headings are used in both locations. Negatives are filed with corresponding prints wherever possible as well, but not all negatives have been matched to their prints in the series arrangement. Where negatives are known to have no corresponding prints in the collection, it is noted in the folder list.
Photographs documenting Davis's storage facility from 1985, presumably taken for estate assessment purposes, are filed with the Business and Estate Records. Photographs used in Steven Naifeh's monograph on Davis are filed with drafts of the book's manuscript in series 5, Writings. Photographs reproduced in a memorial photo album are filed with series 1, Biographical Material. Moving images containing footage of students and art classes are found in series 8, Artwork.
Description Container Select
Disassembled Photograph Album 1
Childhood Photographs of Gene Davis, circa 1920-1939
11
43
Davis Working as a Model for Detective Stories, circa 1940
11
44
Davis Working as a Journalist, circa 1945-1965
With Harry Truman, John L. Lewis, and J. Edgar Hoover
11
45
Portraits of Davis, circa 1950-1975
11
46
Travel Snapshots and Photographs of Gene and Florence Davis, 1969-1970
11
47
Exhibition Openings, 1959-1975
11
48
Davis with Artworks, circa 1959-1972
11
49
Davis Working, circa 1970-1985
See also Disassembled Photograph Album 3, and Studio photographs
11
50
Studio and Art Classes, 1968-1971
See also Art Classes, Students, and Models and Studio Photographs
11
51
Installations of Site-Specific Works, 1969-1979
Includes color slides of "Giveaway" and "Niagara" at ArtPark, and black and white prints of Franklin's Footpath, Grass Painting, and others.
11
52
Installation of
Magic Circle
at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1975
11
53
Disassembled Photograph Album 2
Artwork, 1961
Florence Davis and Walter Hopps pictured
12
1
Artwork, 1968-1972
12
2
Artwork, 1973-1978
12
3
Exhibitions, circa 1969-1987
12
4
Installation of
The Sentinels
at the Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C., 1981
12
5
House, 1970-1978
12
6
Disassembled Photograph Album 3
Portraits of Davis, circa 1977-1983
12
7
Portraits of Davis, circa 1978
12
8
Davis Teaching, circa 1976-1979
12
9
Davis Working in the Studio, circa 1973-1983
12
10
Davis with Jacob Kainen, circa 1979
12
11
Davis with Artwork, circa 1982
12
12
Davis with Artwork, by Mary Swift, circa 1982
12
13
Davis with Artwork, by Percy North, 1983
12
14
Davis with Artwork, by Ellen Page Wilson, 1983
12
15
Exhibition at Walker Art Center, 1978
12
16-17
Exhibition Opening, Max Protetch Gallery, 1977
Davis pictured with Bob Woodward
12
18
Exhibition Openings, Corcoran Gallery, 1979
12
19
Exhibition Opening, Unidentified, circa 1980
12
20
Installations of Site-Specific Works, 1977
12
21
Installation of Site-Specific Works,
Niagara
, ArtPark, Lewistown, NY, 1979
12
22-23
Installation of Site-Specific Works,
Black Yo-yo
at Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1981
12
24
Artwork,
Self-Portraits
, circa 1982
12
25
Personal Photographs
Portraits of Gene Davis, circa 1930-1945
12
26
Portraits of Gene Davis, circa 1950-1985
Oversized photographs in Box 17
12
27
Portraits of Gene Davis by Joe Cameron (circa 1969), 2000
12
28
Portraits of Gene Davis by Azar Hammond, circa 1975
12
29
Portraits of Gene Davis by Rosalind Solomon, 1978
Oversized photographs in OV 19
12
30
Portrait of Gene Davis by Deborah Haynes, 1983
12
31
Portrait of Gene Davis by Ellen Page Wilson, 1983
12
32
Portraits of Florence Coulson Davis, circa 1940-1990
12
33
Portraits of Gene and Florence Davis, circa 1960-1980
12
34
Family of Gene Davis, circa 1940-1960
12
35
Family of Florence Coulson Davis, 1983, 1936-1960
12
36
Gene Davis as White House Correspondent, circa 1946-1947
12
37
Wedding and Honeymoon, 1960
12
38
Dartmouth College Graduation, 1968
12
39
Dupont Theater and Indonesian Embassy Exteriors, Washington, D.C., circa 1980
Negatives only
12
40
Autographed Portraits of U.S. Presidents, circa 1945-1963
12
41
Home, Friends, and Family Snapshots, 1964-1971
12
42-45
Home, Friends, and Family Snapshots, circa 1974
12
46
Home, Friends, and Family Snapshots, circa 1976
Polaroids
12
47-48
Home, Friends, and Family Snapshots, circa 1977-1979
12
49-52
Home, Friends, and Family Snapshots, 1981
12
53
Home, Friends, and Family Snapshots, circa 1972-1985
12
54
Travel Snapshots
Jamaica, 1964
13
1
Italy and Germany, 1969 April
13
2
England and France, 1973
13
3
France, Italy, and England, 1977
13
4-5
France, Italy, and Spain, 1979
13
5-7
New York City, 1980
13
8
Austria, circa 1980
13
9-12
Unidentified Travel Snapshots, circa 1975-1985
13
13
Art Classes, Students, and Models
See also moving images in series 8, Artwork
Art Classes, Students, and Models, circa 1960-1985
13
14
Art Classes, Students, and Models, 1968
Set stamped May 1968 contains photograph labeled "View of fires on 14th Street during race riots of 1968"
13
15
Art Classes, Students, and Models, Skidmore College, 1969
Many of the photographs are labeled with names of those pictured; full names mentioned include Bob Reed, Sharon Duffy, and Karen Smiley.
13
16
Art Classes, Students, and Models, 1974
Contains photograph of Gene Davis behind a video camera
13
17
Art Classes, Students, and Models, 1977
Two photographs labeled with names Azar Hammond and Steve Ludlum.
13
18
Art Classes, Students, and Models, 1978
Two photographs labeled with names Ann Purcell and Benita Berman
13
19
Art Classes, Students, and Models, circa 1979
One photograph labeled with name Steve Kruvant.
13
20-21
Art Classes, Students, and Models, 1979-1980
13
22
Art Classes, Students, and Models, circa 1980
13
23
Art Classes, Students, and Models, 1985
13
24
Exhibition Openings
See also Disassembled Photograph Albums 1, 2, and 3
Dupont Theater Lobby, 1952
13
25
Watkins Gallery at American University, 1955
13
26
Jefferson Place Gallery, 1959
13
27
Jefferson Place Gallery, 1961
13
28
Unidentified Exhibitions, circa 1968-1985
13
29
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1975
13
30
Max Protetch, 1977
13
31
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1979
13
32
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Walk-through with Joan Mondale and Jane Livingston, 1979
13
33
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1987
13
34
Exhibition Visits, circa 1969-1982
13
35
Exhibition Visits,
Documenta 5
, Kassel, Germany, 1972
Negatives only
13
36
Exhibition Visits, Walker Art Center, 1978
13
37
Exhibition Visits, Zoo, circa 1979
13
38
"Giveaway" at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., 1969
Gene Davis pictured with Douglas Davis, Ed McGowin, and others; see also Box 11, folder 52 for color slide of event; see file of related documentation in series 8, Artwork.
13
39
Installation of Site-specific Work
See also Disassembled Photograph Albums 1 and 2
Unidentified Site, 1970
13
40
Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour, Florida, 1971, 1977
13
41
Franklin's Footpath
, Philadelphia, PA, 1972
Oversized photographs in Box 17
13
42
Magic Circle
at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1975
13
43
Niagara
at ArtPark, Lewistown, NY, 1979
13
44
Black Yo-yo
at Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1980
14
1
Ferris Wheel
at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1982
14
2
Studio Photographs, 1970, 1982
14
3
Studio Photographs, circa 1977-1979
Davis and assistants pictured
14
4
Studio Photographs, circa 1960-1982
Davis pictured
14
5
Studio Photographs, circa 1985
Snapshots possibly taken at the time of Davis's death
14
6
Photographs of Artwork
Abstract Impressionist Paintings, undated
14
7-8
Collages, undated
14
9
Drawings, undated
14
10-13
Drawings from
Child and Man
Exhibition , 1983
14
14
Drawings and Paintings in Smithsonian National Museum of American Art Exhibition, 1987
14
15-16
Gene Davis Signature Boxing Trunks and Robe, 1983
Color prints
14
17
Micropaintings, undated
14
18
Micropaintings, undated
Color print
14
19
Neon Sculpture
The Sentinels
, circa 1981
Color print
14
20
Paintings, undated
Oversized photographs in box 17
14
21-31
Paintings, undated
Color prints
Oversized photographs in Box 17
14
32-33
Paintings, undated
Color transparencies
14
34
Paintings, undated
Color slides
14
35
Plank Paintings, undated
14
36-37
Photographs of Artwork
Plan for Proposed Grass Painting, 1974
15
1
Video Art Stills and Exhibition View, 1971
15
2
Watercolors, undated
15
3
Photographs of Artwork by Others, undated
15
4
Photographs of Artwork, Exhibition Views
Axiom Gallery, 1969
15
5
Brooklyn Museum of Art, circa 1982
15
6
Charles Cowles Gallery, 1983-1986
15
7
Cleveland Museum of Art, circa 1973-1974
15
8
Corcoran Gallery of Art, circa 1979
15
9
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Ferris Wheel, 1982
15
10
Denver Art Museum, 1984
Color prints
15
11
Fischbach Gallery, 1966-1977
Black and white prints and color slides
15
12
Guggenheim Museum, 1972
15
13
Jefferson Place Gallery, 1961, 1967
Black and white prints and color slides
15
14
Max Protetch Gallery, 1976
15
15
ArtPark,
Niagara
, 1979
15
16
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983
15
17
Milwaukee Art Museum, circa 1980
Includes 1 color print
15
18
Muscarelle Museum of Art,
Sun Sonata
, 1983
Color prints
15
19
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, circa 1970
15
20
Osuna Art Gallery, circa 1980-1990
Color prints and negatives
15
20
Paris Art Fair, 1977
15
21
San Francisco Art Museum, circa 1966
15
22
Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, 1987
4 videocassettes (vhs)
Also contains 1 color snapshot
15
23-24
Tate Gallery, circa 1970
15
25
University of Nebraska, Sheldon Art Gallery, circa 1973
15
26
Walker Art Center, 1978
Contains color prints
See also disassembled photograph album 3
15
27
Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1968
15
28
Unidentified Exhibitions, circa 1968-1983
Contains color prints, polaroids, and slides
15
29
Oversized Photographs from Box 12, folder 27
17
Oversized Photographs from Box 13, folder 42
17
Oversized Photographs from Box 14, folder 21
17
Oversized Photographs from Box 14, folder 32
17
Oversized Photographs from Box 12, folder 30
20

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.