Skip to main content

As a public health precaution, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Please continue to check back frequently at or for updates. In the meantime, please explore our website, resource materials and online exhibitions. 

Stuart Davis or Wyatt Davis

Stuart Davis or Wyatt Davis
Usage Conditions Apply
Stuart Davis, 7 Dec 1892 - 24 Jun 1964
Stuart Davis, 7 Dec 1892 - 24 Jun 1964
Wyatt Davis, 1906 - 1984
c. 1927
Graphite on paper
Image: 35.1 × 24 cm (13 13/16 × 9 7/16")
Sheet: 46.4 × 33.5 cm (18 1/4 × 13 3/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
Exhibition Label
Absorbing the lessons of European modernism, Stuart Davis embraced cubism, turning its formal vocabulary to American subjects. About the time this portrait was made, Davis started his Eggbeater series, cubist paintings inspired by the outline of an eggbeater. He later remarked, "you may say everything I have done since has been based on that eggbeater idea." In this drawing, a portrait either of himself or his brother Wyatt, Davis suppresses individual characteristics to create a flattened, iconic head. Davis built up the face from a combination of geometric spheres, cylinders, and polygons-the rectangle that became the nose is clearly visible-containing it all within a heavy contour line. As he polished the drawing, he adjusted the nose, gave a slight curve to the right angle of the shirt collar, and softened the form of the hat.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection