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Swing Landscape

Artist Stuart Davis (American, 1892–1964)
Title Swing Landscape
Date 1938
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions Image: 86 3/4 × 173 1/8 in. (220.3 × 439.7 cm)
Framed: 88 1/2 × 174 3/4 × 3 1/2 in. (224.8 × 443.9 × 8.9 cm)
Credit Line Allocated by the U.S. Government, Commissioned through the New Deal Art Projects, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 42.1

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About this Work

Stuart Davis’s mural Swing Landscape is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century American art. With its bold colors and forms, this abstracted portrayal of the Gloucester, Massachusetts, waterfront takes visual cues from Cubism, but also expresses Davis’s artistic theories of color and space, and reflects the influence of jazz and swing music. Commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn, New York (constructed 1936–38), Davis intended his mural to introduce modernism to a less privileged audience. However, the mural was ultimately not installed at this site, and in early 1942, was instead allocated by the WPA to Indiana University.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Swing Landscape | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.