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 Allan Albert Davidson  (1908 - 1988)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: painter and sculptor-figure, graphics

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Allan Albert Davidson
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Peter Kostoulakos, ISA Fine Art Consultant, www.pkart.com

Allan Albert Davidson was a painter, sculptor, writer, lecturer, and graphic artist who enjoyed working in watercolor, oils, wax, bronze, marble, and various graphics media. In the early 1970s Davidson started working enthusiastically with cray-pas, which he said combined the color scope of pastels with the non-rub finish of crayon. He was born in Springfield, MA on February 24, 1908 and died in Rockport, MA on Tuesday, April 19, 1988 of lung cancer. Davidson lived and worked in Rockport where he kept a studio at 8 Dean Road.

As a child Davidson moved to Boston, MA where he attended Boston Latin School. Davidson's art education took place at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA; the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; and the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, MA, where he earned a BA. Later, with an interest in politics, he studied law at Northeastern University. Davidson was a member of the Massachusetts State House Press Gallery and worked as an investigative reporter.

Davidson served in the European theater as a war correspondent during WWII for the Army newspaper "Stars and Stripes" where he had interviews with notables such as Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Charles DeGaulle. Upon his return from the service, he was named public relations director of the Children's Hospital in Boston. He worked very closely with doctors of the now Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute. This experience inspired him to write the booklet, "A Child is Not a Little Man." His objective to make the public aware of the fact that children were also victims of cancer was extremely successful and controversial.

In 1961 Governor Volpe appointed him commissioner to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Art Commission. Davidson was responsible for collecting all the portraits of former governors and placing them in what is now known as the Gallery of Governors. Other professional positions held by Davidson include president of the Cape Ann Society of Modern Art; and, in 1941, set designer for the South Shore Playhouse in Cohasset, MA.

Davidson was a member of the American Watercolor Society in New York City; the Boston Watercolor Society; the American Artists Professional League; the Rockport Art Association; and the North Shore Art Association in Gloucester, MA. A September 2, 1971 article in The Rockport Eagle stated that there are no molds for Davidson's sculpture. Each is an individual creation and an authentic presentation of some vibrant experience in the family of man.

In the 1980 book, "Artists of the Rockport Art Association", Davidson's biographical sketch consists of the following information:

ALLAN A. DAVIDSON, A.W.S. Facts concerning my education, training and honors may be found in Who's Who in American Art. It is far more important to assess my continued interest in modern philosophy in relation to my work as a painter and sculptor. Time alone may judge whether I have successfully communicated my thoughts on paper, canvas and carved stone. My enchantment with the social, cultural, political and scientific achievements of the century inspired my efforts. In the tradition of the Renaissance masters, I never have made an academic division between draftsmanship in painting and sculpture. Critics may judge for themselves if I have succeeded.

Some of Davidson's exhibitions include one man shows in New York Galleries; Berkshire Museum; Worcester Museum; Amherst College; American Watercolor Society in New York City; American Artists Professional League; Boston Watercolor Society; North Shore Art Association in Gloucester, MA; and the Provincetown Art Association in Provincetown, MA. His awards consist of the Henry Gold Medal; Chase Memorial Prize; and the Benson-Hayes-Stuart Award.


References: Who Was Who in American Art, vol. II, page 832; Davenport's Art Reference 2003/2004, page 513; The Boston Globe, April 20, 1988; The Rockport Eagle, September 2, 1971; The Rockport Art Association supplied newspaper articles.




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