Cape Cod Museum of Art
William R. Davis: Personal Reflections: A Retrospective Collection
July 3 - August 3
Gallery Talk: Thursday, July 10, 2 pm
Reception: Thursday, July 10, 5:30 - 7 pm
William R. Davis is one Cape Cod’s best-known artists, recognized nationally as well as locally for his beautiful luminist maritime scenes. “Personal Reflections: A Retrospective Collection by William R. Davis,” an exhibition of representative paintings produced during the past 35 years of his distinguished career, will run from Thursday, July 3, through Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
Davis – who now resides in Harwich – grew up in Hyannis Port in the 1950s and ’60s and began taking sailing lessons at age 10. As a student at Barnstable High School he spent as much time as possible in the art rooms, but went to work for his father’s heating and air conditioning company not long after graduation. In his late 20’s, however, he began painting in oils at night, teaching himself to work in the manner of such 19th-century luminist painters as Martin Johnson Heade, Antonio Jacobsen and Fitz Hugh Lane. He quickly found buyers for his work and by 1982 – the year he turned 30 – was painting full time. In 1987, Davis became the first artist honored with a one-person show at the prestigious Mystic Maritime Gallery in Mystic, Conn. All 20 works in that show sold at the opening reception.
Davis went on to earn many other honors, including inclusion in innumerable one-person and group exhibitions. He’s a Fellow Member in the American Society of Marine Artists. The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod selected him as its official Pops by the Sea artist in 2012. When American Artist Magazine ran an in-depth article about his work in its April 2001 issue, one of his paintings was also reproduced on the magazine’s cover.
Although best-known for his marine scenes, Davis has also mastered other subjects, including landscapes, particularly of the White Mountains, Yosemite and Tuscany; floral arrangements in Nantucket baskets; and trompe l’oeil still lifes.
Partially influenced by his friendship with noted artists Joseph McGurl and Donald Demers, Davis has shifted to painting more plein air landscapes on location in recent years. This has given him the opportunity to carefully observe such atmospheric conditions as sunrises, sunsets and other changes in light; the effects of the wind; and the movement of the waves. He’s especially thrilled whenever he finds a view that seems to transcend time – a scene that looks much the same today as it did in the 1800s.
Karol Wyckoff: Passion from my heART
Bass River artist Karol B. Wyckoff is nationally recognized for her paintings – especially her crisp watercolors, which exploit the medium’s transparent properties to the fullest. The Cape Cod Museum of Art will pay tribute to her long and successful career with the retrospective “passion from my heART: 68 years of paintings by Karol B. Wyckoff.”
Wyckoff worked on her show all winter (from her Florida residence), arranging to borrow back many paintings from collectors in order to assemble a true retrospective. The earliest piece dates from 1946, when she was 10. It was an entry in an art contest for Girl Scouts – and won her a week at camp. “Dirty Laundry,” a 1988 painting of a southern live oak dripping with Spanish moss, will be on loan from the collection of sportscaster Brent Musburger.
With her mastery of technique and draftsmanship, Wyckoff brings a magic touch to virtually any subject – be it sailboats in a quiet harbor; a full moon over Sandy Neck; a snowy street in Boston; an impromptu bouquet, stuck in a boot; or children playing in the sand at the seashore. Virtually no scene is too complex or beyond the scope of her versatility and interest, so long as it can lay claim to some charm or beauty. No matter what the subject, her paintings typically convey a strong sense of season and weather conditions. Wyckoff made sure spring, summer, fall and winter are all represented in her show.
Wyckoff never considered being anything other than an artist. She majored in Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and enjoyed a short career as the art director for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. before getting married in 1960. She never stopped painting and – when widowed with two children ages 13 and 16 – managed to support her family through the sale of her paintings. Later she owned and operated her own gallery – the Karol B. Wyckoff Gallery – in Wellfleet for a number of years.
A Signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists and New England Watercolor Society, Wyckoff is particularly proud of having been invited to decorate an egg for the annual Easter egg hunt at the White House. Her work has also been on view at the Copley Society of Boston; the New Bedford Whaling Museum; the Salmagundi Art Club and World Trade Center in New York; and Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Conn., among many other venues. She’s also twice had a painting selected for inclusion in an Art for the Parks exhibition in Jackson, Wyo.
The artist provides an annual art scholarship to a Barnstable High School student by donating a painting – to be raffled off – to Hyannis Rotary Club. She has also endowed an annual scholarship at her alma mater, RISD.
Contemporary Cape Cod Artists
Amy Heller: Cyanotypes
Plein Air Painters of Cape Cod
Rosemary Simpkins: Psalms Installation
Printmakers of Cape Cod, a juried show