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Consumer Coal Company

Davis, Stuart

Consumer Coal Company

oil on linen

1977 Gift of Amherst Coal Company

Stuart Davis's aptitude for art was apparent at an early age. His mother was a sculptor and his father was an illustrator who knew the leading realist artists of the era including Robert Henri. When Henri opened his art school in New York, Davis's parents enrolled him. Henri encouraged students to express their personal responses to their environment. Any subject was worthy of an artist's attention. Inspiration came from the sights and sounds of the city. Henri's teaching strongly influenced Davis's early paintings. At the end of his training at Henri's art school, Davis painted "Consumer Coal Company". Although he was only 18 years old when he produced this painting, his understanding of color and composition reveals his artistic maturity. The lines produced by the buildings, the windows, the stoop railings, and the lamp post draw attention to the figures in the central area of the painting. His use of color and skillful brushwork capture the feeling of snow laden wind gusts on a cold winter day.

This painting is often requested for loans to major museums. It was included in a major retrospective exhibition of Stuart Davis' work that toured Europe for a year (1997-1998) with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. This painting has been known by several names, including "Consumer Coal", "Consumer's Coal", "Snowy Street", and "Winter Scene."