Lew Davis, American, 1910 - 1979
oil on canvas
Gift of Jeanne L. Herberger, Ph.D. In loving memory of Gary Kierland Herberger
© Phoenix Art Museum. All rights reserved. Photo by Mike Lundgren.
American and Western American
North Wing, Second Floor, Western American Art Gallery
Born in the copper mining town of Jerome, Lew Davis left Arizona at the age of 17 for New York. For the next four years, Davis studied at the National Academy of Design where he became skilled at rendering the human figure. This painting features one of his fellow students, Elizabeth Ruskin. Although she stares directly at the viewer with an unsettling intensity, we know very little about her story except that she was a student in one of his art classes. That she was attracted to Davis is suggested by the two apples on the plate on the floor that allude to Adam’s temptation by Eve.