Ruth Danielson Davis: Portrait of a Woman P629

A sensitive portrait of a young woman by beloved teacher and painter Ruth Danielson Davis. Framed 21 x 25, art 16 x 20. Oil on board.

Ruth Danielson Davis

During her 32-year career in the Related Art Department at the University of Wiscoinsin-Madison, Ruth Davis developed the artistic talents of thousands of students, served as a mentor for many new faculty, and exhibited her artwork around the world.

Born in 1909, Davis earned a BS (1931) and MS (1940) in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin. Between these degrees she taught art in a Fond du Lac junior high school and then at Madison East High School. In 1943, Davis was appointed to the Related Art Department, where she taught an introductory course, “Fundamentals of Design,” for which she authored a textbook, A Review of Design Fundamentals. Davis also taught “3-D Design,” “History of American Interiors,” and the laboratory portion of Helen Louise Allen’s course on decorative textiles. Influenced by Allen, Davis traveled extensively to conduct research for her class presentations.

In addition to her teaching, Davis participated in numerous competitive art shows around the country and world. She developed an original technique of applying watercolors, synthetic dyes, and inks directly to large textile panels. Along with numerous solo shows, her painted textiles were included in the Objects U.S.A. touring exhibition sponsored by Johnson and Sons to highlight contemporary crafts, and featuring a reception at the Smithsonian Institution, on both its American tour (1969-72) and European tour (1972-74). Closer to home, Davis’s textiles and watercolor paintings were displayed around Madison in local juried exhibitions and as commissioned works in public places.

Following her retirement, Davis earned an MFA from UW in 1976, after which she retired to California.

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