The Armory Show of 1913, in New York City, was the first publicly accepted display of modern art in the United States. A crucial energy behind the creation of the show was painter Arthur Bowen Davies.
He was born in 1862, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago when he was in his twenties. Within only a few years he had relocated to New York City and was professionally exhibiting his works.
He traveled widely during his career, painting in the Sierra Mountains of California, the landscapes of Mexico, visited Holland, Paris, London and Florence. He was particularly fond of the Dutch realist painters, but never adhered strictly to their style.
He was well known for his ethereal treatment of the female form, as well as his landscape work. While his style would display elements of Symbolism and the Ash Can School of Robert Henri, he would eventually transform himself into a Tonalist and then a Cubist. His focus, whatever the style, was depicting the figure in an overall feeling of lightness, which placed him outside of any single style or genre of his era.
He was a member of "The Eight" who staged their own show at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908, as a protest against the National Academy of Design's conservative and restrictive tastes. He became a deeply respected member of the modern arts movement, and his works were popularly collected.
In the 1880s he had begun to experiment with printmaking, and turned his attention to it late in his career. Between 1916 and 1928, the year of his death, he had completed more than two hundred works in this format.
His works are in dozens of museum collections including the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. and Musees Nationaux Paris.