Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Report from Rockport

Artist:
Stuart Davis (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1892–1964 New York)
Date:
1940
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection, Bequest of Edith Abrahamson Lowenthal, 1991
Accession Number:
1992.24.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Not on view
The profusion of colors, lines, and shapes almost obscures the subject of this painting—the bustling town square of Rockport, Massachusetts. Though the scene is filled with gas pumps, trees, and storefront signs, Davis recalls the town’s thriving fishing industry with images of water, nautical flags, ropes, and a Seine-brand fishnet. Considered to be one of the artist’s key works from the 1940s, Report from Rockport epitomizes Davis’s fully articulated "color space" theory, in which juxtapositions of colors create the illusion of depth.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): STUART DAVIS
the artist, New York (1940–44; sold on February 7, 1944, for $707, through Downtown Gallery, New York to Lowenthal); Edith and Milton Lowenthal, New York (1944–his d. 1987); Edith Lowenthal, New York (1987–d. 1991; her bequest to MMA)

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "1940–41 Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting," November 27, 1940–January 8, 1941, no. 39.

Art Institute of Chicago. "The Fifty-Second Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture," October 30, 1941–January 4, 1942, no. 56.

Boston. School of the Museum of Fine Arts. "Contemporary American Expressionists," February 16–March 16, 1942, unnum. brochure.

Detroit Institute of Arts. "Group Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists," April 9–May 10, 1942, brochure no. 27 (as "Report from Rock" [sic]).

New York. Downtown Gallery. "Stuart Davis: Selected Paintings," February 2–27, 1943, brochure no. 6.

Pittsburgh. Carnegie Institute. "Painting in the United States," October 14–December 12, 1943, no. 244.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Art in Progress," May 24–October 15, 1944, unnumbered cat. (p. 85; lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Arts Club of Chicago. "3 Contemporary Americans: Karl Zerbe, Stuart Davis, Ralston Crawford," February 1945, brochure no. 12 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, New York).

Cincinnati Art Museum. "The Critics' Choice of Contemporary American Painting, 49th Annual," March 10–April 8, 1945, no. 23 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Stuart Davis," October 17, 1945–February 3, 1946, unnumbered cat. (p. 31, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, New York).

Boston. Institute of Modern Art. "1936-1946: 10th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition," November 1–December 15, 1946, unnum. brochure (lent by Mr. & Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, New York City).

New York. Downtown Gallery. "Exhibition of Paintings by Stuart Davis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jack Levine, John Marin, Ben Shahn," January 20–February 7, 1948, checklist no. 1.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "New York Private Collections," July 20–September 12, 1948, unnumbered cat. (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Pomona, Calif. Los Angeles County Fair. "Masters of Art from 1790 to 1950," September 15–October 1, 1950, unnumbered cat. (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, Craryville, New York).

Richmond. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. "Judge the Jury," February 9–March 18, 1951, unnum. checklist (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

New York. New School for Social Research. "Paintings, Drawings, Prints, and Sculpture by the Art Faculty of the New School for Social Research," September 17–October 12, 1951, no catalogue.

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. "Revolution and Tradition: An Exhibition of the Chief Movements in American Painting from 1900 to the Present," November 15, 1951–January 6, 1952, no. 51 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "Some Businessmen Collect Contemporary Art: An Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings by American and European Artists from Private Collections of American Professional and Business Men," April 6–27, 1952, no. 7 (lent by Mr. Milton Lowenthal, New York, N.Y.).

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection," October 1–November 2, 1952, no. 21.

Minneapolis. Walker Art Center. "Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection," November 28, 1952–January 17, 1953, no. 21.

New York. Wildenstein. "Landmarks in American Art, 1670–1950," February 26–March 28, 1953, no. 56 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, New York).

Iowa City. State University of Iowa, School of Fine Arts. "Fifteenth Annual Fine Arts Festival: Paintings by American Masters," June 17–July 31, 1953, no. 5 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Bayonne, N.J. Bayonne Jewish Community Center. "An Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting," December 3-17, 1953, no. 5 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Minneapolis. Walker Art Center. "Stuart Davis," March 30–May 19, 1957, no. 12.

Des Moines Art Center. "Stuart Davis," June 9–30, 1957, no. 12.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "Stuart Davis," August 8–September 8, 1957, no. 12.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Stuart Davis," September 25–November 17, 1957, no. 12.

Washington, D. C. Corcoran Gallery of Art. "The New Tradition: Modern Americans Before 1940," April 27–June 2, 1963, no. 24 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

New York. American Federation of Arts Gallery. "Selections from the Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection," May 25–June 5, 1964, no catalogue.

Philadelphia. Peale House Galleries, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. "A Retrospective Exhibition of the Paintings of Stuart Davis," October 3–November 8, 1964, checklist no. 14 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Washington, D. C. National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," May 28–July 5, 1965, no. 73 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal).

Art Institute of Chicago. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," July 30–August 29, 1965, no. 73.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," September 14–October 17, 1965, no. 73.

Art Galleries, University of California at Los Angeles. "Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition 1894–1964," October 31–November 28, 1965, no. 73.

Brooklyn Museum. "Stuart Davis: Art and Art Theory," January 21–March 19, 1978, no. 44 (lent by Edith and Milton Lowenthal).

Cambridge, Mass. Fogg Art Museum. "Stuart Davis: Art and Art Theory," April 15–May 28, 1978, no. 44.

Brooklyn Museum. "Modernist Art from the Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection," March 21–May 10, 1981, no. 10.

Pittsburgh. Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute. "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944," November 5–December 31, 1983, no. 32 (lent by Edith and Milton Lowenthal).

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944," January 26–March 25, 1984, no. 32.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944," April 15–June 3, 1984, no. 32.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944," June 28–September 9, 1984, no. 32.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stuart Davis: American Painter," November 23, 1991–February 16, 1992, no. 123 (lent by the Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection, New York).

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Stuart Davis: American Painter," March 26–June 7, 1992, no. 123.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Art: The Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection. Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art from the Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection," October 10, 1996–January 12, 1997, unnumbered cat. (p. 8; published in MMA Bulletin 54, summer 1996).

Stuart Davis. "Abstract Art in the American Scene." Parnassus 13 (March 1941), p. 102, ill., notes the inspiration for each abstract element in this picture and how they rely on color and form to create a dynamic, pleasurable scene.

Samuel M. Kootz. New Frontiers in American Painting. New York, 1943, colorpl. 25, lists it courtesy of the Downtown Gallery.

Clement Greenberg. "Stuart Davis: Selected Paintings at the Downtown Gallery." Nation 156 (February 20, 1943), p. 284, notes that this painting recalls the work of Miro and is highly successful.

Stuart Davis. "The Cube Root." Art News 41 (February 1–14, 1943), p. 22, ill. (color).

Aline B. Louchheim. "Who Buys What in the Picture Boom." Art News 43 (July 1944), ill. p. 14.

James Johnson Sweeney. Stuart Davis. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1945, pp. 32, 36, ill. p. 31.

Stuart Davis. Stuart Davis. New York, 1945, ill. n.p., ill. inside cover (color detail), locates it in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal.

"Are These Men the Best Painters in America Today?" Look 12 (February 3, 1948), pp. 46-47, ill.

Arthur Miller in Masters of Art from 1790 to 1950. Exh. cat., The Los Angeles County Fair. Pomona, Calif., 1950, unpaginated, ill.

Thomas B. Hess. Abstract Painting: Background and American Phase. New York, 1951, pp. 89–90, fig. 62.

Charles L. Mulligan. "In the Art Galleries." New York Post (September 16, 1951), ill.

Frederick S. Wight. "Profile of Stuart Davis." Art Digest 27 (May 15, 1953), p. 23, notes that while the artist was teaching at Yale University (New Haven, CT) he was accused of taking the name "Rappaport's" from an advertising campaign put forth by a local liquor store, which proclaimed "Let Mort wrap a quart", though the artist never saw the ads or the store.

James Thrall Soby in New Art in America: Fifty Painters of the 20th Century. Ed. John I. H. Baur. Greenwich, Conn., 1957, p. 182, ill. p. 187.

John Lucas. "The Fine Art Jive of Stuart Davis." Arts 31 (September 1957), pp. 34, 36, notes this work's relationship to jazz and explains how it shows Rockport at both night and day, with references to Paris.

E. C. Goossen. Stuart Davis. New York, 1959, p. 28, pl. 45.

Robert Rosenblum. Cubism and Twentieth-Century Art. New York, 1960, p. 224, pl. 162.

Rudi Blesh. Stuart Davis. New York, 1960, pp. 57-58, 60, fig. 14.

William H. Pierson Jr. and Martha Davidson, ed. Arts of the United States: A Pictorial Survey. reprint ed. Athens, Ga. (1st ed., New York, 1960), 1960, fig. 3063.

Allen S. Weller. ART USA NOW. Ed. Lee Nordness. Vol. 1, New York, 1963, p. 70.

"Peale House." Sunday Bulletin (October 4, 1964), sec. VB, p. 3.

H. H. Arnason in Stuart Davis Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat., National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C., 1965, pp. 27, 32, 68, no. 73, ill. p. 30.

H. H. Arnason. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, [1968], pp. 425-46, fig. 680.

Diane Kelder, ed. Stuart Davis. New York, 1971, p. 10, fig. 33.

Claude Marks. From the Sketchbooks of the Great Artists. New York, 1972, p. 450.

Christine Ellinghausen. "Stuart Davis: American Modernist Painter." News World 3 (January 22, 1978), ill. p. 1B.

Harold Rosenberg. "The Art World: The Last Exiles." New Yorker 44 (April 3, 1978), p. 108, notes that this work contains references to the artist's time in Paris.

John R. Lane. Stuart Davis: Art and Art Theory. Exh. cat., The Brooklyn Museum. New York, 1978, pp. 44, 46, 61, 64 n. 13, p. 207, no. 44, ill. pp. 45 (color), 124.

Matthew Baigell. Dictionary of American Art. New York, 1979, p. 89, suggests that this work's "all-over" composition recalls a "country-and-western" version of Joan Miró's paintings.

John R. Lane in The Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection. Exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum. New York, 1981, pp. 4, 14-15, no. 10, ill. (color, back cover).

Brian O'Doherty. American Masters: The Voice and the Myth in Modern Art. rev. ed. (first edition, 1974). New York, 1982, pp. 74, 80.

Susan C. Larsen in Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944. Ed. John R. Lane and Susan C. Larsen. Exh. cat., Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum of Art. Pittsburgh, Pa., 1983, p. 32.

John R. Lane in Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America, 1927-1944. Ed. John Lane and Susan C. Larsen. Exh. cat., Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute. Pittsburgh, 1983, p. 65, no. 32, ill. p. 93 (color).

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. in The Lane Collection: 20th-Century Paintings in the American Tradition. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1983, pp. 30-31.

Carol Troyen in The Lane Collection: 20th-Century Paintings in the American Tradition. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1983, p. 52.

William C. Agee in Stuart Davis (1892-1964): Black and White. Exh. cat., Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. New York, 1985, unpaginated (entry for no. 12).

Karen Wilkin. Stuart Davis. New York, N. Y., 1987, pp. 163–65, 171, 174, 217, colorpl. 179.

Donald D. Keyes. "Stuart Davis: 'Snow on the Hills'." Bulletin: Georgia Museum of Art 12 (Winter 1987), pp. 21, 24 n. 21, fig. 17.

Lewis Kachur. "Stuart Davis: A Classicist Eclipsed." Art International no. 4 (Autumn 1988), pp. 17, 19 n. 5, ill. p. 21 (color).

William C. Agee in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, p. 83.

Lewis Kachur in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 105–6.

Lowery Stokes Sims in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 136, 181, 249, 252, no. 123, ill. p. 250 (color).

John R. Lane in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pp. 71-73, 77, 79, 80 n. 13, fig. 56.

Bonnie L. Grad. "Stuart Davis and Contemporary Culture." Artibus et Historiae 12, no. 24 (1991), pp. 182, 187, notes that this is a seminal work that responds to the sensate experience of modernity and uses a "jive" title to reference jazz.

Diane Kelder in Lowery Stokes Sims. Stuart Davis: American Painter. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, p. 27.

Carter Ratcliff. "Stuart Davis." Portraits: The Lives and Works of Eminent Artists 2 (October 1992), unpaginated.

Diane Kelder. "Stuart Davis: All That Jazz." Art News 91 (February 1992), p. 84, ill., notes that this work is an updated version of "Town Square" from the mid-1920s and reflects Davis's sensory experience of modern life.

Lowery S. Sims in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1992–1993." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 51 (Fall 1993), p. 66, ill. (color), notes that this is one of the artist's most important paintings and that the watercolor "Town Square" (Newark Museum, Ref. Boyajian and Rutkoski 2007, no. 1132) shows the same view of Rockport, Mass. but with a less saturated color palette.

William Wilson. Stuart Davis's Abstract Argot. San Francisco, 1993, n.p., colorpl. 19, notes that despite this work's bright color palette this painting shows the world as troublingly "unglued and drifting apart"; also suggests that Davis's use of the word "Seine" (middle right) is a reference to his time in Paris and his debt to French art.

Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1983). New York, 1994, p. 444, no. 24, ill. (color).

Earl Davis in Stuart Davis Retrospective 1995. Exh. cat., Koriyama City Museum of Art. Osaka, Japan, 1995, p. 21.

Lisa Mintz Messinger. "American Art: The Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 54 (Summer 1996), pp. 6, 8-9, 21, 43, 55, ill. (color and b/w).

Philippe de Montebello. "Director's Note." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 54 (Summer 1996), p. 3.

Patricia Hills. Stuart Davis. New York, 1996, pp. 131, 135, 136, colorpl. 103.

Lewis Kachur in Stuart Davis. Ed. Philip Rylands. Exh. cat., Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. Milan, 1997, p. 38.

Diane Kelder in Stuart Davis. Ed. Philip Rylands. Exh. cat., Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. Milan, 1997, p. 144.

Karen Wilkin in Stuart Davis in Gloucester. Exh. cat., Cape Ann Historical Museum, Gloucester, Mass. West Stockbridge, Mass., 1999, pp. 32, 78, colorpl. 48.

Grace Glueck. "To a Quaint Fishing Port Came a Jazzy City Boy, Lured by the Light." New York Times (June 16, 2000), p. E32, notes that this work melds abstract and semi-abstract imagery in a way anticipated by "Multiple Views" (1918, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).

Diane Kelder. Stuart Davis: Art and Theory, 1920-31. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 2002, pp. 10, 22, fig. 16.

Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski, ed. Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 3, Catalogue Entries 1324–1749. New Haven, 2007, pp. 325–28, no. 1637, ill. (color).

Ani Boyajian in Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. Vol. 1, Essays and References. New Haven, 2007, p. 7, fig. 6 (color), ill. p. 165 (color).

Mary Birmingham. Dynamic Impulse: The Drawings of Stuart Davis. Exh. cat., Hollis Taggart Galleries. New York, 2007, p. 27.

Karen Wilkin in Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. Vol. 1, Essays and References. New Haven, 2007, pp. 90-91, 94, 105.

William C. Agee in Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. Vol. 1, Essays and References. New Haven, Conn., 2007, pp. 66, 87.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, pp. 420–21, ill. (color).



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