William Robert Davis
Born May 1952

Contact Artist:   wrdfa2@gmail.com





Bill Davis
Plein Air Painting Trip, Cortona, Italy
May 2014



                                                                                                                                                               


Painting at Monteriggioni, Tuscany, Italy
2001



Studio View Late Winter 2015







Inside my Harwich Studio
click on images for larger views



Born: Somerville, Massachusetts, May 4, 1952

 

Bill Davis grew up on Cape Cod during a time when the Cape was a much quieter summer vacation land. At 10 years old, he took sailing lessons at the Hyannis Port Yacht learning to sail Beetlecats and other local built wooden boats. At 14 years old, he started working at the Hyannis Theater and continued there until 1970. Attended Barnstable High School and was always found in the Art Rooms. After High School graduation and a year attending Cape Cod Community College Bill went to work for his father's Heating & Air conditioning Company.  But in the late 70's, he returned to painting at night after work.  In 1978 he started selling his paintings to local builders and folks in Hyannis Port. By 1982 he made the switch to painting full time.  Bill had his first show  at Richard Bourne Company 1983 along with an artist friend Elizabeth Mumford. The show was well received and attended by Lee Remick and Jackie Onasiss. This was the beginning of a very long list of shows all over the country.




 
Once you have seen a painting by William R. Davis, you will understand why Mr. Davis has a national reputation as one of the best marine artists presently working in the United States. Mr. Davis grew up in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. He is a self-taught artist whose oil paintings typically capture the serene light of sunrise or sunset on the water. He employs many of the techniques traditionally used by American luminosity painters to realize his personal vision, showing a marked preference for 19th century subjects.

    In 1987, Davis made history with the first one artist show ever mounted at the prestigious Mystic Maritime Gallery in Mystic, Connecticut.  All twenty of the works featured in that show were sold at the opening reception. In 1990 he received the Mystic Maritime Gallery Award of Excellence and his painting entitled "Calm Day off Latimer's Reef" appeared on the cover of Mystic's The Art of the Sea Calendar in 1993.   Three of his paintings were also used in  Shipwrecks Around Boston by noted Cape Cod author, William P. Quinn. Rockport Publishers has included Boston Harbor at Sunset in a new book entitled, A Gallery of Marine Art. He has also been included in the latest edition of E.H.H. Archibald's authoritative volume on  Marine Art from the Flemish masters to the present.

  Much of Davis' early works pays homage to 19th century artists such as James Bard, Martin Johnson Heade, Antonio Jacobsen and Fitz Hugh Lane.  He limits himself to about 30 colors in the palette of that period. He describes his style as "A conglomerate of a number of ideas I saw in other artists with my own refinements". Over the years, he has incorporated his fascinations for the different techniques of these artists. This may be best explained in the works of painter, William Merritt Chase, prominently displayed in his studio, "The most original painters are those who have stolen here a little and there a little from everyone. When they arrive a the levels of the masters, they will find they can do so much better work themselves that they can't help being original".

    In a tribute to Martin Johnson Heade which appeared in the July 1991 issue of American Artist magazine, Davis refers to sunset as "the hour when night usurps day". He observes that this is the "best time of day for painters to capture the 'inner state' of a landscape" and represents "an unequaled opportunity to sensitize the eye to the delicate mysteries of light and shadow".

  In the September 1992 issue of Soundings, former Mystic Maritime Gallery Director, J. Russell Jinishian, described Davis by saying "His work evokes the gentility and natural beauty of the 19th century, a time we look back on with some nostalgia as it was a time less complicated and more civilized".

    Although best known for his marine subjects, Davis strives to make his work accessible to those with a variety of tastes while expanding his own horizons as an artist. Following the tremendous popularity of Davis' "Lilacs and Basket", featured on the poster for The Cahoon Museum of American Art 1992 exhibition entitled, "The Flowers of New England", the Nantucket Basket series  began. Note cards and limited edition prints are now available.

    Davis has shifted in the last few years to painting more landscapes on location. In the process, he has converted to plein air painting, partly influenced by his friendship with artists Joseph McGurl and Donald Demers. During 1998 the three friends painted together in various locations all over New England. The result of their efforts was a show entitled The New American Luminists Revisit the Native Landscape held at Tree's Place in Orleans, Massachusetts.

In April 2001, Wm. Davis' work was illustrated on the cover of American Artist Magazine along with an in depth article about his work.
 

Cape cod life collector's edition named davis as one of the  Top 400 most influential, famous, and intriguing people on cape cod. Davis was also an invited panelist at the national conference on representational painting, sponsored by american artist magazine and held in the Summer of 2004.
 

 


MEMBERSHIPS:


Fellow Member of the American Society of Marine Artists
The Guild of Boston Artists
Cape Cod Museum of Fine Art  Acquisition Committee
St. Botolph Club
Board of Trustee Cape Cod Maritime Museum  


AWARDS:

1989 Award of Excellence – Mystic Maritime Gallery International Show
1991 Second Place – Copley Society
1999 Award of Excellence – Mystic Maritime Gallery International Show
 
 

JURIED & INVITATIONAL SHOWS, EXHIBITIONS


2016

Summer Exhibition,  The Christina Gallery, Edgartown, MA   July 2nd - Aug. 31st

Spirit & Matter: Contemporary American Luminism. (Don Demers, Joseph McGurl, William R Davis)  The Collins Galleries, Orleans, MA   Aug. 20th - Sept. 9th


2015

Spotlight Show , The Guild of Boston Artists,  Boston, MA Dec. 5th  -16


2014

One Man Show    Cape Cod Museum of Fine Art , Dennis , MA    July 5th -  Aug 5th


2012

Offical  "POPS by the  SEA " artist

Cape Cod Hospice  25th year Award  April

Collins Gallery, Orleans, MA  group show 



2011

One Man Show   Quidley & Company, Nantucket, MA    August

Private one man Exhibition "St. Botolph Club"  Oct.



2009
                    Meghan Candler Gallery, Vero Beach, FL  " Maritime Exhibition"  February 16


2008
                     American Society of Marine Artists, "30th Anniversary Exhibition"
                     Meghan Candler Gallery, Vero Beach, FL  " Group Maritime Show"  February
                     Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Observations in Nature"  July
                     St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA  "Members Exhibit" August-September
                     Mystic Seaport Gallery, Mystic, CT  "International Show"  September
                     Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA "Small Works Holiday Exhibition"  November
                     Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT.  "Modern Marine Masters"  April 26

 2007
                      Meghan Candler Gallery, Vero Beach, FL  "On the Water"  February 15                   
                      Quidley & Company Gallery, Nantucket, MA  "One Man Show" July 13-26
                      Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery,Mystic, CT   " Modern Marine Masters"  April 28
                      Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Where We are in America: From Sea to Shining Sea"  July 5
                      Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Twilight and Reverie"  August 4
                      The Guild of Boston Artists, Boston, MA   "New Member Show"  November
                      Cape Museum of Fine Art, Dennis, MA  "From Sea to Shining Sea"  May 26- July 15
                      Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA "Of Children and Childhood"
                      Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Small Works Holiday Exhibition"  Nov. 24
                      
                 2006

                 Copley Society, Boston, Ma "Patrons Choice Show"                   
                     Banks Gallery, Portsmouth, NH " Visions in Granite"  show catalog cover
, March
                     Meghan Candler Gallery, Vero Beach, FL   "One Man Show"  Feb.
                     Mystic Seaport Gallery  "Invitational Show"  (Guest Speaker)  March
                     Mystic Seaport Gallery  "International Marine and Art Exhibition"  September 30
                 The Bank s Gallery, Portsmouth, NH  "Isles of Shoals"  July 
                 Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "One Man Show" July 29th
                     Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Small Wonders Holiday Exhibition"  November 24
                     St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA  "One Man Show"   Feb.             


                2005

                     Hammer gallery, New York "gallery  contemporary artists selected works" 1/12-2/28
                     Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT   "26th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition" September 24
                     Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA   "Marine and Coastal Art"   July 30
                 Christina Gallery, Edgartown, MA  "Two Man Show"  July 26
                     Meghan Candler Gallery, Vero Beach, FL   "Marine Exhibit"  February
                     American Yacht Club,   NY       Group Show
                     Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Yarmouth, MA  "Group Show"  June 25
                    
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Small Wonders Holiday Exhibitions"  November 25                  

                    

2004
Hammer gallery, New York "gallery  contemporary artists selected works" 1/12-2/28
The Admiralty Gallery , Vero Beach, FL  "Along the Indian River" 2/09
Vose Gallery, Boston MA  " Realism Now: Traditions & Departures - Mentors & Protégés"  5/15-7/17
The Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA "From Sea To Shining Sea: A Reflection of America " 5/09 - 7/03
The Cahoon museum of american art, cotuit, ma "twilight and starlight" 2/03 - 3/20
the mystic gallery at mystic seaport, "modern marine masters" 04/24-6/06
christina gallery, edgartown, ma      one man show  "Marine Paintings of New England" July 22
tree's place, orleans, ma "Marine & coastal art"  7/24-29
national conference on representational painting, Brewster, MA,  (panelist) 08/27 & 28
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Small Works Holiday Exhibition"  November 26

2003
The Admiralty Gallery, Vero Beach, FL "Indian River & Marine Paintings"  Two Man Show  2/20
Tree's Place gallery, orleans, ma "The New American Luminists"   3rd Show 8/30-9/11
The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, International marine exhibition 10/4-11/30
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans MA  "Small Works Holiday Exhibition"  November 29
Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT   "Summer Exhibition"  (cover of show card)  June 14
Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery, Mystic, CT  "24th Modern Marine Masters Exhibition" May 3
The Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA  "Twilight and Starlight"   Feb. 3
The Copley  Society, Boston, MA   "Patrons Choice"   Feb. 27

2002
Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, MA "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" 2/1-3/9,
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, "Luminous Landscapes" 2/15-3/16
St Botolph Club, Boston, MA  "Romance of the Sea"
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Marine and Coastal Art"  August 31
Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery, Mystic, CT   "23th Modern Marine Masters  Exhibition"  April 27
St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA  "Romance of the Sea"    April 10
Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT   "23rd Annual International Marine Art Exhibition"  Sept. 21

2001
The Copley Society, Boston, MA  "Patron's Choice" exhibition 3/22-04/14
Christina Gallery, Edgartown, MA 7/19, (Two Man Show)
Tree’s Place, Orleans, MA   8/4-8/11,
Tree's Place 9/2-9/16
The Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA 10/21-12/30.( Group Show)
The Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA   "Winter Wonderland, Snow Scenes of New England"  Nov. 13

2000
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, CA  "Scapes, Air, City, Land, Sea"  July 1
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, CA    "William Davis, Donald Demers & Joseph McGurl Paint Northern California"
Tree’s Place, Orleans, MA  "The New American Luminists, 2nd show"

 1999
Mystic Maritime Gallery, 20th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition
1998 Tree’s Place "The New American Luminists Revisit the Native Landscape
Sharon Arts Center, New Hampshire, "Seaworthy Ships: Master Marine Artists"
J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Inc., CT, "Marine and Sporting Art of Today and Yesterday"
Big Horn Galleries "Marine Art of Yesterday & Today"


1998

Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA   "The New American Luminists Revisit the Native Landscape" Sept. 5
Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT   "Wetpaint Auction"  June 6
Copley Society, Boston, MA  "Wetpaint"   June   14

1997

Sharon Arts Center, Petersbough, NH "seaworthy Ships, Master marine Artists"
Big Horn Galleries, Fairfield, CT  "Group Show" December 4
J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Fairfield, CT "Marine & Sporting Art of Yesterday"
Copley Society,Boston, MA  "Fresh Paint"  June 15
Christina Gallery, Edgartown, MA  "Two Man Show"
Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT  "International Show"  Sept.


1996

Big Horn Gallery "Marine Art of Yesterday and Today"  Feb. 17
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "Painting with Light"  2 man show  August 10
Copley Society, Boston, MA    "Fresh Paint"    June 9
Maritime Gallery of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, NH  "Group Show"  March 23
Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery, Mystic, CT   "Invitational  Show"  April
Wilson Gallery, Nantucket, MA  "One Man Show"   July 6
Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery, Mystic, CT  "International Show"  Sept


1995

Big Horn Galleries "An American Marine Legacy" Group Show
Mystic Maritime Gallery, International Marine Art Exhibition "Modern Marine Masters"
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA    Group Show
Roger King Gallery, Newport, RI   "Newport Maritime Festival"
Willson Gallery, Nantucket, MA  "


1994

Lily Pad Gallery, Charlestown, RI   "Two Man Show"
Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  "One Man Show" July


                           1993

                            Mystic Maritime Gallery, Mystic, CT   "Modern Marine Masters" 
                     Lily Pad Gallery, Charlestown, RI  "One Man Show"
                            Munson Gallery. Vero Beach Fl. (one man show)
   
SPECIAL EXHIBITS AND LECTURES:

Guest Speaker , Johns Island Club, Vero Beach, FL   Feb. 2010
Guest Speaker , Mystic Maritime Gallery Invitational Show 2006

Cape Museum of fine art permanent collection

The Donovan Gallery 2004 Making Art - Plein air 05/10 -14

The Donovan Gallery 2002 Making Art-Selling Art Seminar

C3 TV   Interview    Jan. 23 1996

Cape Museum of Fine Arts, Inc. Dennis, MA – Tuesdays with the Muse" series - "Ships, Slips & Boats Afloat" April 17, 2001

Museum of Natural History, Brewster, MA

Barnstable Historical Society, "Treasures at the Trayser"

Symposium on Cape Cod Maritime History

Community Foundation of Cape Cod, "Making Art and Making A Living"

Cape Cod Antique Dealers Association, Maritime Art of New England 1840-1880

Guest Curator, Cape Museum of Fine Art, Marine Exhibit: "Cape Cod: It’s Maritime Influences Past & Present" 1993



PUBLICATIONS: 

Tidemark 2008 "Art of the Sea Calendar

American Artist Magazine,  "The Totality of Nature"  June  2008

True Acounts of Yankee Ingenuity & Grit   ( Front & Back Cover Illustrations) 2007

Mystic Seaport Fine Art Editions  2006

Visions in Granite   (hard cover)   Front Illustration  2006

Isles of Shoals   (hard cover)  2006

Cape Cod Magazine  July 2006     "The  Mariner on Canvas"

American Art Collector    July 2006      (extensive article with images)

Marine Art Quarterly  Fall/Winter 2005-2006   (cover illustration)

Fine Art Connoisseur, April 2006  "New American Luminists. Land Light and Sea"

American Artist Magazine  "Landscape Highlights"  2005  ( extensive article w/images)

The Weirs Times   Vol13, #47   Cover Image

Cape cod life collector's edition  Top 400 influential, famous, and intriguing people October 2004

Vero Beach Magazine    "Process of Illumination"   February 2003

Bound for Blue Water-Contemporary American Marine Art a new book by J. Russell Jinishian.

Cape Cod Life, Full Article June 2002

Cape Cod Magazine   Holiday Edition Dec. 2001  (Front Cover and article)

Art of the West  September 2001  "Capturing the Grandeur of Yosemite"

Southwest Art  November 2001  "Yosemite Artists"

 American Artist Magazine April 2001 Issue. (Front Cover) w/ extensive article

 Cape Cod Life Magazine "The Solitude's of Nature" August 2000 issue – page 76-81.

Tide-Mark Publishing –Art of the Sea Calendar 2000,

American Artist Magazine, "Organizing Reference Material" – March issue,

 The Barnstable Patriot, 9- 24-1998,

 LeChasse-Maree, French Maritime Publication, Rockport Publishers, Marine Art

 A Collection of Fine Art by Jerry McClish,

 Cape Cod Guide,

 A-Plus,

The Register,  May 8 1997 "William R Davis, Artist & Collector" 

 Shipwrecks Around Boston  Hard Cover Book by William P. Quinn.

Yachts on Canvas  Hard cover book by James Taylor,  Illustration

Victoria Magazine,

Mystic Maritime Gallery, The Art of the Sea Calendar (1993 Cover)

Cape Cod Times – Arts & Antiques,  Sept. 1993

Cape Cod Life,  "Contemporary Marine Art, Bill Davis Sets the Trend"  Fall 1984 Vol.6 #5

Soundings,  "A Feel of Light that Recalls an Earlier Time"  Sept. 1992

American Artist Magazine   "William R Davis on Martin Johnson Heade's Sunsets"  July 1991 
 
Currier’s Price Guide to American Artists1990

The Review   "Breaking Away, Perfect Path for  William R Davis"  Nov.- Dec. 1987

Dictionary of Sea Painters

Fire and Ice, A History of Comets in Art   Smithsonian Institution, (illustration)  1985

Antique Collector’s Club Ltd.


 
 

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