Gladys Rockmore Davis, Oil on Canvas Painting
GLADYS ROCKMORE DAVIS (1901-1967) An artist who succeeded in both commercial and fine arts, Gladys Rockmore Davis gave up a career in advertising art to devote herself to creative painting. Her work in pastels ranks with her oils, and her chief subjects are children, nudes and still-lifes. She also painted ballet dancers, vignettes of liberated Paris, and scenes of Spain. Born in New York City, on May 11, 1901, the daughter of David William Rockmore and Jeanette (Richman) Rockmore, Gladys Davis lived in New York until she was nine years old when her father, a lawyer and metallurgist, moved the family to Canada. She and her brother spent the next five years getting used to new schools as the family moved from place to place. The Rockmores eventually settled in San Francisco where Gladys attended the Girls' High School. In 1925, she married Floyd MacMillan Davis, well-known illustrator, and combined painting with caring for her children, Noel and Deborah. The Davises went to Europe in 1932. While in France, Mrs. Davis visited Renoir's home and studio and studied his paintings. After touring the continent the family settled in Cannes, France, where Mrs. Davis started to paint as a creative artist. The transition was not so noticeable from day to day, but on her return to the United States in 1933, she found she had completely lost her flair for commercial work. Abandoning her former methods, she studied at the Art Students League in New York and with George Grosz for a year; then she started on her own as an artist. Recognition came soon. She won the William R. French Gold Medal at the Chicago Institute of Art in 1937 and was recommended for the 1938 purchase prize by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts at Richmond, Virginia. In 1939 she received honorable mention from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and third honorable mention from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought her August Afternoon in 1940. This was followed by a number of prizes in museums throughout the country, and in 1941 she gave her first one-man show at the Rehn Gallery in New York City. After two additional one-man shows at the Midtown Gallery in New York an art critic called Gladys Rockmore Davis "the ten-year wonder of United States art".
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