Oil on Board, 14.25 x 17.5 inches/Signed lower right
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Davis was born in New Paris, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. He is a little-known regional artist and one of very few artists born and who remained in Bedford, Pennsylvania. In the town of Bedford his profession was barber. Although his paintings hung on the walls of his barbershop and the locals remarked on them, it is uncertain if they realized that they were painted by Davis, the “tonsorial” artist who shaved them, trimmed their beards and cut their hair. Even so, Davis had an established reputation—ever since 1909 he had entered his paintings at the at the exhibitions of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, and every year he won recognition, a not unremarkable feat. He had studied under A, Bryan Wall, noted Pittsburgh and Scalp Level artist. In 1909 Davis and his friend, H.B. Townsend of Bedford, traveled to the Middle East and spent time in England, France, Egypt and the Holy Land. Although he produced many paintings during his trip, most were sold prior to his return to the United States. An article in “The Bedford Gazette” after his death states that “[P]ossibly his best picture is that of a sheep fold on exhibition in his barber shop. He painted local scenes--the old mill at the Bedford Springs, Bedford Hills down at the Willows, Falling Springs, Springs Run, and Ridge Road, the locations of which are now unknown. This painting, The Haystacks won him recognition in 1911 in Pittsburgh. Davis also carved and gilded his own frames, including the one on this painting.
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