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Builders of the Temple

circa 1890s

Arthur B. Davies (American, 1862 - 1928)

Few artists worked harder to balance tradition and modernism in their art than Arthur B. Davies. On the one hand, Davies's paintings reveal an admiration for antique forms, an embrace of Nineteenth Century Romanticism and Symbolism, an attraction to mythological subject matter, and a tendency toward mysticism. But despite his attention to history, Davies was also one of the crucial figures in the development of modernism in America.

A member of the group known as The Eight, Davies joined Robert Henri, George Luks, John Sloan, and others in a 1908 exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery that challenged the supremacy of the conservative National Academy of Design. Davies's paintings of idealized figures in romantic landscapes were hardly related to the gritty realism of his friends, but he was equally committed to the expressive freedom sought by the other members of the group. Davies later went on to be one of the principal organizers of The Armory Exhibition of Modern Art in 1913, which introduced American audiences to the latest trends in European art such as Fauvism and Cubism.

oil paint, canvas

Measurements:    height: 26.5 inches    width: 40 inches    frame height: 23 inches    frame width: 48 inches

Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary in honor of Gwin Barnwell Dalton (Mrs. Robert I. Dalton, Jr.) 2002.110

Not currently on view