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Mural Proposal for the New Appellate Division, New York State Supreme Court Building, New York City

Not on view

Mural Proposal for the New Appellate Division, New York State Supreme Court Building, New York City

Artist: Arthur B. Davies (American, 1862-1928)

Date: 1898
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Overall: 22 x 60 1/2in. (55.9 x 153.7cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Niles Davies, Sr.
Object number: 64.118
Label Text
Arthur B. Davies, a native of Utica, N.Y., submitted this painting for a mural competition in 1898. It depicts his design for a twenty-one-foot mural behind a judge's bench in the Appellate Division Supreme Court Building in New York City. The competition was won by Henry Oliver Walker (1843-1929), whose submission entitled, "Wisdom Attended by Learning, Experience, Humility and Love, and by Faith, Patience, Doubt and Inspiration" was selected because it was less crowded and less detailed. Kenyon Cox (1865-1919), another famous muralist of the time, also competed in the competition.

Davies began his formal art training in Utica at the age of fifteen. He studied at both the Chicago Academy of Design and the Chicago Art Institute, but lived in New York City for the majority of his professional life. By the 1890s, Davies was a well-established painter in New York City and Philadelphia. He was also a member of "The Eight," a progressive group who displayed their work at New York's Macbeth Gallery in 1908. His work often depicted ethereal, mostly female, nudes with classical references. In this mural design, Davies depicted three-dozen personifications, including Industry, Doubt, Summer, and Justice.

The painting was conserved in 1981. The frame is a recently-made reproduction based upon an authentic frame on a Davies painting in the MWPAI collection.

Raina Goldbas
Museum Intern, 2004


Copyright
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