J. Watson Davis
Watercolor, charcoal and white goauche on board, signed lower left, 7 × 11, inscribed "Aesop's Fables" on verso.
John Watson Davis, New York 1870-1959
"John Watson Davis had a career for six decades as an illustrator; in addition to his religious commissions, his drawings appeared in Zane Grey novels, in editions of Sherlock Holmes tales and Bluebeard, and in other books and magazines. His father was John Steeple Davis, also a book illustrator. Born in New York, Davis moved with his family to Paris when he was ten years old, where he received his art training. This was a time when many artists from North America and elsewhere flocked to Paris, then the pre-eminent city for the visual arts, to study with masters in schools that emphasized rendering of the human form.
Davis returned to Brooklyn when he was in his twenties, and began his commercial artist career. To avoid confusion with other artists named "John W. Davis," he began signing his work "J. Watson Davis." He married Agnes Danforth, with whom he had four children; they subsequently moved to Hollis, New York. Davis was living in California at the time of his death."
- David C. Alan
Curator for the Exhibit
From the Georgetown University Library website