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Davidson, Louis

Louis S. Davidson

1891-1983

Davidson attended the Horace Mann School, Taft University, and Yale Graduate Law School. During WWI he served in the Navy and then attended Annapolis. He was made commander of the destroyer Sterrett, and his first trip to Nantucket was on the destroyer's training trip when the ship anchored for 24 hours off shore.

He married Alice Ansbacher Davidson in 1922. He returned to the island in 1923, the year of his daughter Joan's birth, and as the years passed the Davidsons spent vacations and summers here, staying first at the Sea Cliff Inn. In 1940 they purchased a house on North Liberty Street.

He was president of the Camera Club of New York circa 1940s, and in 1956 Davidson presented a fifty-five-print exhibition at the CCNY comprising portraits of Nantucket personalities, friends, and neighbors. He also had a solo show at CCNY in 1977, titled "A Sea Cruise." The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has an album of forty portraits by Davidson in its collection, covering the 1950s and ’60s. The Atheneum collections contains many of these portraits. In New York he is best known for his images of dancing and 'glamour' shots.

He was a contributor to the American Annual of Photography and a number of magazines, as well as the conductor of the weekly “Lens Interviews” program on WCNW radio in New York (1933–42).

He acted as the president of the Artists Association of Nantucket on three separate occasions, 1954–56, 1961–64, and 1966–67.

He had a son, Louis S. Davidson, Jr. and a granddaughter Mrs. Rebecca Packer. His daughter Joan Davidson Pratel was a Nantucket art collector and a Wharf Rat, like her father.

Davidson was also a member of of the Pacific Club.

Davidson donated over 200 photographs of Nantucket streets, characters, and artists to the AAN Permanent Collection.

from the CCNY website:
In late 2009, Davidson's work was in the show "Still Life" at CCNY, guest curated by Jon Feinstein.