- LaPorte County
- Marion County
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Lois Davis was born in La Porte, Indiana in 1924. She is very closely associated with her late husband, fellow artist Harry Davis, whom she was married to for 55 years. After graduating from La Porte High School, Lois received a scholarship to study at Herron Institute of Art, where she was a student for five years. It was there in 1937 that she met future husband Harry, she a student and he a teacher (although not hers). She would go on to marry him after a three month artistic study in Mexico made possible by receipt of the Millikan Award. Upon her return, she and Harry used the remainder of her award money to travel throughout New England.
Davis first lived in Brownsburg with her husband before the couple later settled in Broad Ripple, where they shared a home and resided for the next 40 years. Her studio was on the second floor of their home. Lois’s pleasant and easy going manner was reflected in her artwork, which was impressionistic in style with an emphasis on conveying moods. She stated, “My paintings come from my imagination, but Harry works with real things….Harry was teaching and selling his work steadily,” she says, “Because he was making a good living, I was able to paint what I wanted to paint.” What she wanted to paint were things that mattered to her socially. As a result, she became well known for her studies of people, and she addressed topics in her artwork such as women’s rights, loss of privacy in the computer age, and the indignities of war. While the artist did work in oil, acrylic, ink, and mixed media, she most frequently exhibited works done in water color. Davis is said to have generally painted at least three days a week, while other parts of her time were spent doing clerical work for her husband. With that, her career eventually paused as she took time off to raise their family.
Both Lois and her husband were invited to take part in the Old Masters Program at Purdue University. While there, they attended art discussions, visited dormitories, and answered student questions. Lois found this to be particularly beneficial to her own artwork because it seemed that her work appealed to a youthful crowd. Therefore, she wanted to use that experience to find out what young people were thinking about art. Further, many of her exhibitions were joint exhibitions with her husband. Such exhibitions included: the Lafayette Art Center; the Hoosier Salon; On View Downtown Gallery; 16th and Meridian Gallery (no longer exists); the Lyman and Snodgrass Gallery; Indianapolis Museum of Art Alliance Shop; “Facts and Fictions” show at Domont Studio Gallery; and oil paintings for the 42nd annual show of Indiana art at the Herron Museum. Finally, Lois was a member of the Indianapolis Artists Club, where both she and Harry had both been past presidents.
[IMA Research Library Artist Files; Indianapolis Star May 10, 1949;; John Herron Institute Library; Indianapolis News May 6, 1987]
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