Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Art History

First Advisor

Robert Hobbs

Second Advisor

Kathleen Chapman

Third Advisor

Babatunde Lawal

Fourth Advisor

Mary Beth Reed


This dissertation provides the first in-depth examination of American artist Stuart Davis’s early theoretical writings made between 1918 and 1923. These writings are seminal documents in his artistic development. They lay the foundation for the creation of some of his most important works, inlcuding his groundbreaking Tobacco paintings of 1921 to his renowned Egg Beater series of 1927–1928, which Davis claimed set the direction for all his subsequent artistic output. One of the key ideas in these early writings is Davis’s concept of realism. This study traces the origin of Davis’s realism to his interaction with a network of ideas arising from cubism, symbolism, New York dada, and anarchist philosophy. In doing so, this study considers how Davis’s notion of realism informed both the development of his style and his iconography in his works of the 1920s.


© Timothy Garland Andrus, 2016

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VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


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