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

Creator:
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Subject:
Naifeh, Steven  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Seitz, William Chapin  Search this
Davis, Florence  Search this
Thomas, Alma  Search this
North, Percy  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
Wall, Donald  Search this
Colby, Carl  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
McGowin, Ed  Search this
Baro, Gene  Search this
United States.Department of Agriculture  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Video recordings
Topic:
Color-field painting  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Painting, Modern  Search this
Reporters and reporting  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7153
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209287
AAA_collcode_davigene
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209287
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Gerald Nordland, 2004 May 25-26

Interviewee:
Nordland, Gerald, 1927-  Search this
Interviewer:
Larsen, Susan C., 1946-  Search this
Subject:
Johnston, Ynez  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston  Search this
University of Southern California  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art historians  Search this
Curators  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11679
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)249051
AAA_collcode_nordla04
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_249051

Eleanor Green letters, 1967-1968

Creator:
Green, Eleanor, 1929-  Search this
Subject:
Di Suvero, Mark  Search this
Still, Clyfford E.  Search this
Newman, Barnett  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
Topic:
Women art historians  Search this
Curators  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5716
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208554
AAA_collcode_greeelea
Theme:
The Art Market
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208554

Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2009, bulk, 1940-2001

Creator:
Kainen, Jacob, 1909-2001  Search this
Subject:
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
Pollack, Jerome  Search this
Frohlich, Newton  Search this
Weber, Joanne  Search this
Steinberg, Leo  Search this
Butler, Bryce  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole  Search this
Acton, David  Search this
Holladay, Wilhelmina Cole  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss  Search this
Purcell, Ann  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Taylor, Joshua C. (Joshua Charles),  Search this
Jordon, Jim  Search this
Halesz, Piri  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Thornton, Valerie  Search this
Reynolds, Jock  Search this
Gilkey, Gordon  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Cole, Phoebe  Search this
Harrison, Carol  Search this
Jackson, John Baptist  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Kalonyme, Louis  Search this
Lunn, Harry  Search this
Ries, Martin  Search this
Solman, Joseph  Search this
Agee, William C.  Search this
Rand, Harry  Search this
Powell, Richard J.  Search this
Fine, Ruth  Search this
Broun, Elizabeth  Search this
Tejera, V. (Victorino)  Search this
Holden, Donald  Search this
Field, Richard  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Australian National Gallery  Search this
Fort Wayne Museum of Art  Search this
Middendorf Gallery  Search this
Pacific Northwest College of Art  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Topic:
Art  Search this
Painting, Modern  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Curators  Search this
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9025
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211214
AAA_collcode_kainjaco
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211214
Online Media:

AAAC: 1966 - Nordland, Gerald

Collection Creator::
Robbins, Warren M.  Search this
Container:
Box 64 of 87
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-001, Warren M. Robbins Papers
See more items in:
Warren M. Robbins Papers
Warren M. Robbins Papers / Series 11: Publications, Writings, Lectures, Speeches, Introductions, and Remarks, 1951-2002 / Box 64
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa11-001-refidd1e27740

Jacob Kainen papers

Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Names:
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
Australian National Gallery  Search this
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Middendorf Gallery  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Acton, David, 1953-  Search this
Agee, William C.  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Broun, Elizabeth  Search this
Butler, Bryce  Search this
Cole, Phoebe  Search this
Fine, Ruth, 1941-  Search this
Fort Wayne Museum of Art  Search this
Frohlich, Newton, 1936-  Search this
Gilkey, Gordon  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Halesz, Piri  Search this
Harrison, Carol  Search this
Holden, Donald  Search this
Holladay, Wilhelmina Cole, 1922-  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Jackson, John Baptist, 1701-1780?  Search this
Jordon, Jim  Search this
Kalonyme, Louis  Search this
Lunn, Harry, 1933-1998  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Pollack, Jerome  Search this
Powell, Richard J., 1953-  Search this
Purcell, Ann  Search this
Rand, Harry  Search this
Reynolds, Jock  Search this
Ries, Martin, 1926-  Search this
Solman, Joseph, 1909-2008  Search this
Steinberg, Leo  Search this
Taylor, Joshua Charles, 1917-  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Tejera, V. ((Victorino))  Search this
Thornton, Valerie  Search this
Weber, Joanne  Search this
Extent:
33.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Date:
1905-2009
bulk 1940-2001
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diaries, calendars, inventories, interview transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diary and journal entries, calendars, inventories, interview and "dialog" transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.

Biographical materials include items concerning Kainen's career as a curator and artist, in addition to a useful bibliography, detailed biographical outline, and a copy of an FBI report compiled on him. Also included are five videocassette recordings of Kainen.

Alphabetical correspondence/subject files comprise the bulk of the collection and include both Jacob's and Ruth's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, artists, art critics, curators, museums, arts organizations, galleries, and many others. There is a significant amount of correspondence with David Acton, the Addison Gallery of Art and Jock Reynolds, William Agee, Australian National Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Avis Berman, the British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Broun and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bryce Butler, Pheobe Cole, the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art, Richard Field, Ruth Fine, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Newton Frohlich, Gordon Gilkey and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Arshile Gorky, Piri Halesz, Carol Harrison, Donald Holden, Wilhelmina Holladay, John Baptist Jackson, Jim Jordon, Lou Kantor, Harry Lunn Jr., Middendorf Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Peter Morse, Gerald Nordland, Francis O'Connor, Jerome Pollack, Richard Powell, Ann Purcell, Harry Rand, Martin Ries, Joseph Solman, Leo Steinberg, Prentiss Taylor, Victorino Tejera, Valerie Thornton, Joanne Weber, and numerous family members.

Writings are by and about Jacob Kainen. Kainen's writings include articles, lectures, exhibition catalog essays, notes, travel notebooks, short stories, poems, and written statements about his artistic motivations and justifications. There are writings about Kainen by Avis Berman, Ruth Cole Kainen, and others. The bulk of the numerous diary entries are from Ruth Cole Kainen's diaries, many of which concern Jacob and their family. There are also annotated and revised diary entries. There is one folder of diary entries and one folder of journal entries by Jacob Kainen and two dismantled journal-like notebooks. The papers include daily calendars and travel itineraries from 1972 through 2001.

The papers include transcripts of formal interviews and informal conversations with Jacob Kainen. Transcripts are of informal dinner, telephone, and general conversations between friends, colleagues, artists, and Ruth Cole Kainen. Included are conversations with Avis Berman, Walter Hopps, Harry Rand, Joshua Taylor, and several others. Many of these transcripts were also annnotated by Jacob and Ruth Kainen. Also found are numerous transcripts of more formal interviews with Kainen by art historians, art critics, and students.

There are inventories, appraisals, and lists of sold and not sold paintings, as well as color photographs of some of Kainen's works of art. Also found are inventories of the Kainens' art collection. Printed materials include Kainen's exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings of articles by and about Jacob Kainen, and an exhibition guestbook.

Photographs are of Kainen with his family and friends, at exhibition openings, and working in his studios. Works of art by others includes handmade greeting cards, limited edition prints, and portfolios given to Jacob Kainen. Nine scrapbooks containing news clippings and exhibition publications document the entirety of Kainen's career as an artist.
Arrangement:
The Jacob Kainen papers are arranged into 11 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-2001 (Boxes 1, 32; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files, 1936-2003 (Boxes 1-12, 32-33; 11.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920s-2002 (Boxes 12-13, 33; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, circa 1952-2002 (Boxes 13-18, 33-38; 10.0 linear feet)

Series 5: Calendars, 1953-2008 (Boxes 18-20, 38; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Transcripts, circa 1975-1994 (Boxes 20-21, 38; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Inventories, 1927-2001 (Boxes 21-22; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1938-2003 (Box 22, 38, OV 31; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1905-2000 (Boxes 22-25, 38, OV 31; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Works of Art by Others, 1942-2000 (Boxes 25-26, OV 31; 1.2 linear foot)

Series 11: Scrapbooks, 1936-1998 (Boxes 27-30, 38; 1.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) was a painter, printmaker, and curator who worked primarily in Washington, D.C.

Born on December 7, 1909 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Jacob Kainen moved with his family to New York City in 1918. Kainen studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1927 until 1930, and at the Art Student's League. In the early 1930s, Kainen became involved in social causes and formed close friendships with the early abstractionists, including John Graham, Arshile Gorky, and Stuart Davis. He joined the Artists' Union and a contributor to its journal, Art Front, along with Stuart Davis and Harold Rosenberg. Jacob's participation in the Artists' Union was later investigated by the FBI.

From 1935 until 1942, Kainen worked for the Graphic Arts Division of the Works Progress Administration in New York City and began exhibiting with the New York School. It was during this period that he married Bertha Friedman. Jacob and Bertha had two sons together, Dan and Paul, and divorced in 1968.

In 1942, Kainen made a life-changing decision to leave New York City and move to Washington, D.C. to accept what he thought would be a temporary position as a scientific aide in the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution. Kainen quickly became Assistant Curator and Curator in 1946. He served as Curator for twenty years, completely reshaping the department and building the graphic arts collection. His print exhibitions brought the work of S.W. Hayter, Josef Albers, Adja Yunkers, Louis Lozowick, Karl Schrag, José Guerrero, Louis Schanker, Werner Drewes, and Boris Margo to Washington audiences - graphic work that might not have been shown that early in the area.

1947 marked the opening of the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts, where Kainen served as a teacher and guide to several important artists, helping to make the workshop a magnet for new talent and instrumental in furthering the careers of several artists. Although Kainen taught Gene Davis and Alma Thomas and introduced Morris Louis to Leon Berkowitz, he never considered himself a member of the "Washington Color School."

In 1949, the Corcoran Gallery of Art held a retrospective of Kainen's prints and three years later Kenneth Noland organized Kainen's first painting retrospective at Catholic University. Kainen's paintings from the 1940s illustrated a shift away from social realism toward abstract expressionism. In 1956, Jacob Kainen received a grant from the American Philosophical society to conduct research in Europe for his monograph on the English woodcut artist, John Baptist Jackson. He traveled to Europe again in 1962 to study paintings and prints from the Mannerist Period.

From 1966 until 1970, Kainen worked as the Curator of prints and drawings at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum). He married Ruth Cole in February of 1969. Kainen retired from the Smithsonian a year later to devote himself full-time to his art, but continued to serve as a special consultant to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for nineteen years. In 1971 and 1972, Kainen taught painting and the history of printmaking at the University of Maryland. A retrospective of Kainen's paintings was held in 1993 at the National Museum of American Art (SAAM).

Throughout his artistic career, Kainen experimented with different mediums and explored different styles, yet he identified himself as a painter. Jacob Kainen participated in at least twenty-five one man shows and several group exhibitions. His works are in collections across the United States and abroad, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the British Museum. He worked in his studio up until the time of his death on March 19, 2001 at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Related Material:
Found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of Jacob Kainen conducted by Avis Berman in 1982 for the Archives' "Mark Rothko and His Times" oral history project. Also found are microfilm copies of Bertha Kainen's correspondence with Avis Berman regarding Berman's essay about Jacob Kainen.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 565, 2147-2149, and 2200) including correspondence, writings by Kainen, and papers relating to the Smithsonian Institution Loyalty Board's investigation of Jacob Kainen from 1942-1954. Most, but not all, of the loaned materials were included in later gifts. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Jacob and Ruth Kainen first lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming from 1973-1981, the bulk of which was included in the later gifts. Papers were then donated in multiple accretions between 1981-2007 by Jacob and Ruth Kainen, and in 2009 from the estate of Ruth Kainen via executor Teresa Covacevich Grana. Also in 2003, eight photographs of Jacob and Ruth Kainen were transferred from the National Portrait Gallery to the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Jacob Kainen papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Curators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Modern -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Art teachers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kainjaco
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kainjaco
Online Media:

Gene Davis papers

Creator:
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Names:
White House (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Baro, Gene  Search this
Colby, Carl  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Davis, Florence  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
McGowin, Ed, 1938-  Search this
Naifeh, Steven, 1952-  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
North, Percy, 1945-  Search this
Seitz, William Chapin  Search this
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Wall, Donald  Search this
Extent:
17.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Date:
1920-2000
bulk 1942-1990
Summary:
The papers of the artist Gene Davis measure 17.7 linear feet and date from 1920-2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1942-1990. Papers document Davis's personal life and his career as an artist and educator, as well as his career as a journalist in the 1940s and 1950s, through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, business records, estate records, writings by and about Gene Davis, printed materials concerning Davis's art career, personal and art-related photographs, and artwork by Davis and others.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the artist Gene Davis measure 17.7 linear feet and date from 1920-2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1942-1990. Papers document Davis's personal life and his career as an artist and educator, and to a lesser degree his early career as a journalist in the 1940s and 1950s, through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, business records, estate records, writings by and about Gene Davis, printed materials concerning Davis's art career, personal and art-related photographs, and artwork by Davis and others.

Biographical materials include birth and death certificates, awards, biographical narratives by Gene Davis and others, CVs, résumés, personal documents from Davis's family and childhood, documents related to his work as a White House correspondent, documentation related to his death and memorial service, and papers for the family pets. A video documentary about Davis by Carl Colby is found on one videocassette.

Correspondence is mainly of a professional nature, and correspondents include gallery and museum curators, private art collectors, publishers, fellow artists, art educators, academics, and students. Letters document exhibitions, sales, book projects, teaching jobs, visits to studios, local art community events in the Washington, D.C. area, and other projects. Significant correspondents include Gene Baro, Douglas Davis, Clement Greenberg, Gerald Nordland, William Seitz, Alma Thomas, and Donald Wall. Interviews and lectures include sound recordings and transcripts. Many of the interviews were broadcast or published. Also found is a single lecture by Davis given in 1969 at the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, entitled "Contemporary Painting." Sound recordings are found for three of the interviews and for the lecture, on 4 sound reels and 1 sound cassette.

Business records include artwork documentation, price lists, sales records, contracts, financial and legal records, gallery and museum files documenting sales and exhibitions, records related to the construction of Davis's home studio in 1970, and a few teaching records. Estate records mainly reflect Florence Davis's efforts to document the works of her husband, and to manage their exhibition, promotion, and sale after his death in April 1985. Estate records include an inventory of artworks, documentation of gifts to museums, correspondence, legal, and financial records. Writings include notes, drafts of essays, artist statements, and articles by Davis, and many articles by others about Davis. Several of Davis's articles reflect specifically on the Washington, D.C. art scene. Also found are drafts of monographs on Davis including one by Donald Wall (1975) and one by Steven Naifeh (1982). Records of Naifeh's book also include photographs of all black and white and color plates from the published book. Among the writings are also notes and research files of Percy North, who worked on an update to Naifeh's 1982 bibliography after Davis's death.

Printed materials include annual reports of museums, published arts-related calendars, auction catalogs, brochures from organizations with which Davis had some affiliation, exhibition announcements and invitations, exhibition catalogs, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, newsletters, posters, press releases, and other published material. 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. Found among the photographs are also four videocassettes documenting the Gene Davis retrospective as installed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in 1987.

Artwork includes photographs, drawings, moving images, and documentation of conceptual art. Works by Davis include documentation of the 1969 "Giveaway" with Douglas Davis and Ed McGowin, "The Artist's Fingerprints Except for One which belongs to someone else," documentation of his "Air Displacement" happening, a short film entitled "Patricia," and a video entitled "Video Puzzle." Other moving images include four reels of film of Davis's stripe paintings, and other experiments with motion picture film and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1930-1987 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 17)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1943-1990 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 3: Interviews and Lectures, 1964-1983 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 4: Business and Estate Records, 1942-1990 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-5, 17, OV 20)

Series 5: Writings, 1944-1990 (2 linear feet; Boxes 5-6, 17, OV 19)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1942-1990 (5.5 linear feet; Boxes 7-11, 17-18, OV 20, FC 35-37)

Series 7: Photographs, 1920-2000 (3.8 linear feet; Boxes 11-15, 17, OV 19)

Series 8: Artwork, 1930-1985 (2.2 linear feet; Boxes 15-16, 18, FC 21-34)
Biographical / Historical:
Gene Davis (1920-1985) was a Washington, D.C.-based artist and educator who worked in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, collage, video, light sculpture, and conceptual art. Davis is best known for his vertical stripe paintings and his association with the Washington Color School.

Davis was born in 1920 in Washington, D.C. and began his career as a writer. In his twenties he wrote pulp stories and worked as a journalist, reporting for United Press International and serving as a White House correspondent for Transradio Press Service during the Truman administration. Later, he worked in public relations for the Automobile Association of America. A self-taught artist, Davis began painting while still working full-time as a writer, influenced by the prevailing abstract expressionist artists of the time, his frequent visits to the Corcoran Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and by his friend and mentor, Jacob Kainen. His first one-man show was held in the lobby of the Dupont Theater in Washington in 1952. He had a drawing accepted in the Corcoran Area Show in 1953, and won several local art prizes in the 1950s. He began showing work regularly in galleries around Washington, such as the Watkins Gallery at American University, the Gres Gallery, and the Henri Gallery, and had solo exhibitions at Jefferson Place Gallery in 1959 and 1961. Many of the painters who made up what became known as the Washington Color School also showed there, including Kenneth Noland, Howard Mehring, and Sam Gilliam. In 1965, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art held a seminal exhibition entitled Washington Color Painters, which included Davis, Noland, Mehring, Morris Louis, Thomas Downing, and Paul Reed.

Davis began showing outside of Washington regularly in the 1960s, including the Poindexter and Fischbach galleries in New York City, and in several important group shows at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He had three works shown in the 1964 exhibition Post-Painterly Abstraction, organized by the influential art critic Clement Greenberg at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the late 1960s, he began teaching art classes at the Corcoran School, and spent the summer of 1969 as artist in residence at Skidmore College's "Summer in Experiment" program.

Davis experimented with form continuously throughout his career, including a period of conceptual work in the late 1960s. In 1969 he participated in the "Giveaway," organized by Douglas Davis and Ed McGowin, in which multiple copies of a Davis painting were given away to invited guests in a gesture intended to subvert the art market. Davis also began experimenting with scale, creating a series of tiny paintings he called "Micro-paintings," which were exhibited at Fischbach Gallery in 1968. Around this time he also began working with film and video, recruiting models from his art classes to enact tightly choreographed movement pieces that played with rhythm and interval. Convinced by a lawyer that his videos were a liability without having obtained releases from the models, Davis destroyed all but one of his video works. The surviving video, "Video Puzzle," shows a foreshortened view of a model on the floor of a gallery spelling out a statement by Clement Greenberg at predetermined intervals.

Davis made several large-scale site-specific works using the stripe motif in public places. The first of these was created in the Bal Harbour, Florida, Neiman Marcus department store in 1970. Later works included Franklin's Footpath, executed in the road leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1972, and Niagara (1979) at ArtPark in Lewistown, NY, promoted at the time as the largest painting in the world. Interior large-scale works were created twice at the Corcoran Gallery, with Magic Circle (1975) and Ferris Wheel (1982), both executed in the museum's rotunda. Black Yo-Yo was created for the Cranbrook Academy in 1980, and Sun Sonata (1983), an illuminated wall of colored liquid-filled tubes, was created as an architectural feature of the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia. Plans for an unexecuted work called "Grass Painting," for a site near the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., were exhibited in the 1974 "Art Now" festival.

In the late 1970s and 1980s Davis consistently exhibited his work in several solo gallery shows a year, and also had numerous solo exhibitions in major museums. A major exhibition, Recent Paintings, was organized by the Walker Art Center in 1978, and traveled to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1979. A drawing retrospective was held at the Brooklyn Museum of art in 1983, and the same year the Washington Project for the Arts organized an exhibition entitled Child and Man: A Collaboration, featuring drawings Davis made in response to childrens' drawings. Davis died suddenly in April 1985 at the age of 65, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Gene Davis conducted by Estill Curtis Pennington on April 23, 1981. A transcript is available on the Archives of American Art website.
Provenance:
Donated 1981 by Gene Davis and 1986 by his wife, Florence. Additional material donated 1991 and 1993 from Smithsonian American Art Museum via a bequest to them from the Gene and Florence Davis estate. Much of the 1993 addition was assembled by art historian Percy North at the request of Florence Davis. An additional folder of photographs of Davis taken in 1969 but printed in 2000 was later added to the collection.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Gene Davis papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Reporters and reporting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Video artists -- Washington, D.C.  Search this
Conceptual artists -- Washington, D.C  Search this
Collagists -- Washington, D.C  Search this
Topic:
Color-field painting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Citation:
Gene Davis papers, 1920-2000, bulk 1942-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.davigene
See more items in:
Gene Davis papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-davigene
Online Media:

Interview with Gerald Nordland

Creator:
Nordland, Gerald, 1927-  Search this
Tuchman, Maurice, 1936-  Search this
Subject:
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1976 May 21
Topic:
Exhibitions  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)15173
See more items in:
Maurice Tuchman interviews, 1976
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_15173

H. C. L. Merillat correspondence regarding Gaston Lachaise, 1973-1991, (bulk 1973)

Creator:
Merillat, H. C. L. (Herbert Christian Laing), 1915-  Search this
Subject:
Thacher, John  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln Edward  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10970
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214760
AAA_collcode_merih
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214760

Nordland, Gerald

Collection Creator:
Jenkins, Paul, 1923-2012  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1973-1985
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. One letter from Paul Jenkins to Norman Bluhm, circa 1966, is ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Paul Jenkins papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. They may be used for research, study, and scholarship. Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Suzanne Jenkins.
Collection Citation:
Paul Jenkins papers, circa 1915-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul Jenkins papers
Paul Jenkins papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jenkpaul2-ref347

Composition with Blue and Yellow (Composition Bleu-Jaune)

Artist:
Piet Mondrian, Dutch, b. Amersfoort, 1872–1944  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
28 3/4 x 27 1/4 in. (73 x 69.6 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1935
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1972
Accession Number:
72.205
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
Geometric Abstraction
On View:
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), 2nd Floor
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2045cd6ba-93ed-4c43-ab37-654a40a13b2c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_72.205

Man and Woman in a Large Room

Artist:
Richard Diebenkorn, American, b. Portland, Oregon, 1922–1993  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
71 1/8 x 62 1/2 in. (180.7 x 158.8 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1957
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966
Accession Number:
66.1371
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
Bay Area Figuration
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py26f3c818f-3f5d-4cfd-92fa-2e53dc7db670
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_66.1371

Ocean Park #111

Artist:
Richard Diebenkorn, American, b. Portland, Oregon, 1922–1993  Search this
Medium:
Oil and charcoal on canvas
Dimensions:
93 1/8 x 93 1/4 in. (236.5 x 236.9 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1978
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Museum Purchase, 1979
Accession Number:
79.235
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
Bay Area Figuration
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py28931f473-9659-4eee-aae1-b62155638e97
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_79.235

Berkeley No. 22

Artist:
Richard Diebenkorn, American, b. Portland, Oregon, 1922–1993  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
59 x 57 in. (149.8 x 144.8 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1954
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Regents Collections Acquisition Program, 1986
Accession Number:
86.5886
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
Bay Area Figuration
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py278122a81-e5fc-46af-9e3f-ba44992abbdf
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_86.5886

Duo F

Artist:
Josef Albers, American, b. Bottrop, Germany, 1888–1976  Search this
Medium:
Inkless intaglio on paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 15 x 22 5/16 in. (38.1 x 56.6 cm) image: 5 1/16 x 13 9/16 in. (12.9 x 34.4 cm)
Type:
Print
Date:
1959
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966
Accession Number:
66.31
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
Geometric Abstraction
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py22f2a0371-90dc-44e2-894b-a2b0a81b608e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_66.31

Nordland, Gerald

Collection Creator:
Harden, Marvin, 1935-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1977-1986
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Marvin Harden papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Marvin Harden papers, circa 1936-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Marvin Harden papers
Marvin Harden papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-hardmarv-ref63

Nordland, Gerald

Collection Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Container:
Box 36, Folder 54
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Jacob Kainen papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Jacob Kainen papers / Series 4: Diaries / 4.2: Diary Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kainjaco-ref1638

Nordland, Gerald

Collection Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 36-40
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1998, undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Jacob Kainen papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Jacob Kainen papers / Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kainjaco-ref296

Washington color painters : the first generation : Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, Morris Louis, Howard Mehring, Kenneth Noland / curated by Sue Scott ; essays by Gerald Nordland, Sue Scott

Author:
Scott, Sue (Sue A.)  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
Orlando Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
79 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
1990
[1990]
20th century
Topic:
Color-field painting  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Call number:
ND235.W3 S42 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_656429

Dusk [sculpture] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Lachaise, Gaston 1882-1935  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1917
Topic:
Figure female--Full length  Search this
Figure female--Nude  Search this
Allegory--Time--Dusk  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0034569
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_34570

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