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Sports Art, Skiing, Ski Jumper, Wayne Davis, Vintage Watercolor, 1936

Wayne Lambert Davis (1904-1988)
American: 1934
Watercolor on paper
Signed and dated lower left “Wayne Davis MCMXXXIV” and titled in pencil lower left margin
13 x 18.5 inches, image to ruled border
14 x 19.75 inches, overall
Price on Request

Watercolor painting of a male ski jumper crouched in a midair jump above a snow-covered hill, a cloud of powder snow falling from his skis. In the distance, trees and mountains are indicated by simplified shapes. The artist was himself a proficient skier and ski instructor. An extant apparently related skier watercolor by Davis entitled “Down Hill Running,” also with his printed signature and date in Roman numerals (1936), was sold at the time by Schwartz Galleries, Inc., Fine Arts, 507 Madison Avenue, New York City (with their label verso).

Product description continues below.


Wayne Lambert Davis was an artist and mining engineer from Pelham Manor, New York. He is known for his aviation subjects and landscapes, in watercolor, oils and etching. A proficient skier who taught skiing at Sun Valley and in Woodstock, New York, Davis also produced popular etchings and watercolors of ski scenes. The son of a prominent executive, Davis graduated from Columbia University in 1926 with a degree in mining engineering. He spent a couple of years in merchandising and advertising for the silk industry and then at Macy’s. “Then I got a crack at aviation with Curtis,” he told an interviewer in 1941. While working for Curtis, an aircraft manufacturer, he studied at both the Guggenheim School of Aeronautics at New York University and the Art Students League, and brought together his interests in art and aeronautical design by becoming an accomplished aviation artist. Newspaper articles published between 1935 and 1941 describe him as a successful artist who was known for his depictions of aircraft and who had several exhibitions with Schwartz Galleries in New York. The 1941 interview found him about to leave on a gold mining expedition in the West, preparing designs for “an aeronautical mural in one of the big airplane terminals in the New York area” and planning to exhibit aviation etchings “in prominent New York City art galleries.”

Inscriptions: The painting is titled in pencil in the far lower left margin beyond ruled border “Ski-Jumper,” possibly in artist’s hand. It is also numbered lower right “M.204.60.”

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall minor toning and wear. Brown paper tape residue in edge of top margin where formerly hinged, sheet slightly irregularly cut, all can be matted out.


“Modern Art Follows The Trail of ’49 When Wayne Davis Goes Out For Gold.” Pelham Sun. 22 August 1941. p. 5. Online at Old Fulton New York Post Cards:
Pelham%20NY%20Sun%201941%20-%200373.pdf (6 August 2013).

“Wayne Davis and His Bride Will Make Home Here.” The Pelham Sun 25 January 1935. Online at Old Fulton New York Post Cards:
Pelham%20NY%20Sun%201935%20-%200054.pdf (6 August 2013).

Additional information


20th Century