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1967-2-17 New York Times - Gladys Rockmore Davis Obituary

The New York Times, Friday, February 17, 1967

Gladys Rockmore Davis, Painter of More Than 600 Works, Dies

            Gladys Rockmore Davis, a painter, died yesterday in the French Hospital after a short illness.  She was 65 years old and lived at 1 West 67th Street.  Her husband, Floyd M. Davis, painter and magazine illustrator, died in October.

            Mrs. Davis, a petite, energetic woman, painted between 600 and 700 works.  Her subjects usually were children, female nudes and still lifes in oil and gouache.  Her style was representational.

            Her work hangs in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and in the Baltimore Museum of Art as well as in many private collections.  She won prizes at the National Academy of Design, of which she was a national academician, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington and at the Art Institute of Chicago.

            Mrs. Davis, who was born here, spent her first nine years in New York.  Then her family moved to Canada and later to San Francisco.

            In a 1940 issue of the Magazine of Art, Mrs. Davis wrote, “I was completely absorbed with the business of drawing from the first minute I was able to hold a pencil.  I can remember as a child being intensely interested in drawing almost to the exclusion of everything else.”

            In her teens, she studied at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and then at the Chicago Institute of Arts, from which she was graduated in 1920.

            She then went into fashion advertising art for the Marshall Fields store in Chicago, and for Vogue magazine.  Later, she illustrated Christmas cards.

            In World War II, she and her husband were artist correspondents for Life magazine in France, where she narrowly escaped death in a German strafing of Metz.  Her paintings of wartime scenes, mostly of Paris after the liberation, appeared in color in Life.

            Among the galleries that exhibited her work were the Babcock, Rehn and Midtown.

            Howard Devree wrote of her 1956 show at the Midtown in The New York Times, “from a stay in the Orient Gladys Rockmore Davis has brought back some vivid impressions of Balinese dancers.”  He added that “she has made full use of the brilliant colors of the costumes, the childlike figures, the swaying rhythms of the performers and the sharp contrasts of light and dark in the outdoor performance.”

            Stuart Preston, reviewing her 1953 show at the Midtown in the Times, wrote that her “recent sojourn In Spain has produced a rich harvest - oils and gouaches of Spanish scenes.”

            “This exhibition,” he wrote, “is wholly delightful.”

            Mrs. Davis was the author of the book “Pastel Painting,” published in 1943.

            Surviving are a son, Noel Rockmore, a painter who legally changed his surname; a daughter, Miss Deborah Davis; a brother, Julian Rockmore, and three grandchildren.

            There will be a private funeral service.

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