Standard Still Life #2

Stuart Davis, American, 1894 - 1964



Oil on canvas

Canvas: 13 × 18 in. (33 × 45.7 cm)

Frame: 18 1/2 × 24 in. (47 × 61 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Bequest of the Estate of Terese L. Lane



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, lower right: STUART DAVIS; inscribed, on reverse, along top member of stretcher: STANDARD STILL LIFE #2 STUART DAVIS / 1958; Printed Downtown Gallery label [with typed catalogue information] on reverse of top member of frame: ARTIST [STUART DAVIS] / TITLE [STANDARD STILL LIFE #2] DATE [left blank] / MEDIUM [Oil] SIZE [18 x 13] S.P. [GGII] / THE DOWNTOWN GALLERY 32 E. 51st St., New York; inscribed on top member of stretcher, in blue crayon: CA-7725; gummed printed labels on stretcher and frame, respectively: No. 67315 / PICTURE; No. 67315 / FRAME


Stuart Davis’s subjects were drawn from his surroundings, including household objects, buildings, street signs, and landscapes. In his still-life compositions, he often started with a completely ordinary object—a bottle, a spoon, or a whisk—that he distilled, reconfigured, and rendered with hues derived from compositional necessity rather than close observation.

Standard Still Life #2 could reference a decanter and boxes or other containers for foodstuff. By referring generically to his schematic compositions as “Color-Space-Compositions” (a term he preferred to “abstractions”), he accentuated their formal, over illusionistic, qualities. Davis’s approach to his art was methodical and intensive. He would often recycle elements from earlier works to create closely related compositions. He started two nearly identical “Standard Still Lifes” on the same day, but deployed the colors differently in each, thereby creating very distinct spatial effects. As in many of his works, the inclusion of writing—in this case his signature—is integral to
the composition, as are the two painted borders that further compress and lock in this taut arrangement of colored shapes presented in a shallow space.

From the 2019 exhibition Cubism and Its Aftershocks, curated by John R. Stomberg Ph.D, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director

Course History

ARTH 16.2, Picasso: The Vollard Suite, Michael R. Taylor, Fall 2013

THEA 90, Contemporary Practices in U.S. Theater, Laurie Cherba Kohn, Fall 2013

WRIT 5, The Waste Land, Before and After, Melissa Zeiger, Fall 2013

ARTH 17, The Power of Place: Urban and Rural Images in American Art, 1900-1945, Sarah Powers, Winter 2014

SART 25, Painting I, Tom Ferrara, Spring 2014

SART 25, Painting I, Esme Thompson, Fall 2014

SART 25.01, Painting I, Esme Thompson, Fall 2019

SART 25.01, Painting I, Danielle Genadry, Summer 2022

Studio Art 25.01, Painting I, Daniele Genadry, Summer 2023

Studio Art 25.01, Painting I, Lucy Mink Covello, Winter 2024

Exhibition History

Cubism and Its Aftershocks, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-February 16, 2020.

Cubism and Its Legacy, Churchill P. Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 17-December 20, 2013.

Publication History

Boyajian, Ani and Mark Rutkoski, Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, Yale University Press, volume 3, 2007, No. 1707, p. 429.


The artist; with Downtown Gallery, New York; Mr. and Mrs. John E. Stauffer, Worcester, Mass., May 6, 1959; with M. Knoedler & Co, New York; sold to Terese L. and Alvin S. Lane, New York; Terese L. Lane (after her husband’s death in 2007); Bequest of Terese L. Lane (1921–2010), 2012.

Catalogue Raisonne

Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski, Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, Yale University Press, vol. 3, p. 429, no. 1707.

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: