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The Dawning

Arthur B. Davies

American Art

In the years immediately following the Armory Show of 1913, Davies departed from his traditional figurative works to experiment with his own brand of Cubist-influenced forms and compositions. Beginning in 1914, he began to adapt his new aesthetic to large-scale canvases like this one, in which the essentially decorative character of his version of modernism is apparent. A writer in 1917 commented that in this work the artist "has allied his new knowledge of the geometrical side of art with the old knowledge stored in his vivid, dreamy, inquiring mind. This disturbing and compelling 'Dawning' fresco, which attracts more and more each time it is seen, should be in a public museum." Lillie P. Bliss, who had acquired the work by that year, must have agreed, for she left it to the Brooklyn Museum.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1915
DIMENSIONS 108 3/8 x 108 1/4 in. (275.3 x 275 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed, "A.B. Davies" lower left
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Lillie P. Bliss
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Arthur B. Davies (American, 1862–1928). The Dawning, 1915. Oil on canvas, 108 3/8 x 108 1/4 in. (275.3 x 275 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Lillie P. Bliss, 31.275 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 31.275_transp1069.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 31.275_transp1069.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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