Artist Biography

1879 - 1969

Davis Francis Schwartz was born in Paris, Kentucky on June 18, 1879. He grew up in the blue grass country and, like Saint Francis of Assisi for whom he was named, developed a deep love of nature and all living things. He first studied art at the AIC and subsequently at art schools in Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio; he then spent three years in Montreal studying under Adam S. Scott. He began his career as an art illustrator for the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and continued for the Los Angeles Times after moving to California in 1903. He abandoned commercial work in 1915 to devote full time to fine art. In 1924 was elected artist for the State Board of Harbor Commissioners and came to San Francisco for the installation of the huge (18' x 600') relief map of the State of California in the Ferry Bldg. Schwartz established a studio in the Ferry Bldg and for 30 years acted as custodian of the map. During the 1940s he sometimes signed his works “Francis Davis” due to anti-German sentiment. Winner of many medals and awards, he worked in both oil and watercolor to produce landscapes of northern California (often with dilapidated buildings),missions, and a few portraits. He died on January 1, 1969 at Ross General Hospital and was interred at Mt Tamalpais Cemetery in San Rafael, California. Member: Carmel Art Ass'n; Oakland Art Ass'n; Santa Cruz Art League; Society of Western Artists. Works held: California Historical Society; St Mary's College (Moraga); Treasure Island Officers Club (San Francisco); State Museum Resource Center (Sacramento); Shasta State Historical Museum.

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