The American West and the Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Elliot Bostwick Davis, PhD
August 24, 2017
Join Elliot Bostwick Davis, PhD, as she discusses western American art in the collection of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She focuses specifically on Albert Bierstadt’s painting The Buffalo Trail. Davis also touches upon an upcoming exhibition which explores the collecting of Native American Art, and American identity at the time of the Centennial. In the talk, she explore the kinds of western imagery that the Museum of Fine Arts currently displays in its galleries, as well as the types of work they are acquiring to enhance their presentation of the West on the East coast.
About our speaker
Davis has been the John Moors Cabot Chair of the Art of the Americas Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) since January 2001. She came to the MFA from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Davis oversees MFA’s extensive collection of art of the Americas, including one of the world’s preeminent collections of American paintings, decorative arts, and sculpture—approximately 15,000 works of art. She leadsing curatorial staff in the planning and reinstallation of the galleries for the new Art of the Americas Wing, opened in 2010, orchestrates important acquisitions and exhibitions, and researches the Art of the Americas collection.
While at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Davis was responsible for American, British and contemporary art in the Department of Drawings and Prints from 1992 through 1999, curating numerous exhibitions ranging from Winslow Homer (1996) and Mary Cassatt (1998) to WPA. Color Prints (1996) and the installations of baseball cards from the Burdick Collection (1993–1999).
Davis has broad experience working as a trustee at non-profit and educational institutions, including at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, the New York Academy of Art, and the Groton School in Massachusetts. She has also served as a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Curators, and is currently a trustee of MassHumanities, a councilor for the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an overseer of the North Bennett Street School in Boston.
Davis received her MA, MPhil, and PhD in art history and archaeology from Columbia University. She has also studied extensively at the Arts Students League of New York. Before attending Columbia, she earned an MA in liberal studies from New York University and is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University.