In many ways, we have collectors to thank for the transfer of ideas and culture around the world - that was certainly the case in Japan after WWII. The American occupation of Japan at the end of the war brought thousands of curious foreigners to the country who bore witness to the evolution of modern Japanese culture, as it was stitched together by the country’s artists from the fragments of tradition that survived the war and their new sense of the post-war nation. North Carolina collector John Davis was one of those Americans who discovered a predilection for mid-century Japanese art and brought it back to the United States with him. Davis’s extensive collection of modern Japanese prints is being offered in our auction of Modern, Asian, & Continental Arts
Davis’s own life has had a cosmopolitan trajectory. Born and raised until adolescence in New York City, Davis moved to Richmond, VA with his mother for her work as a professor of psychiatric social work. During his high school years, his mother took a sabbatical in Paris, where Davis attended high school. Davis came back to the Southeast to attend Duke University for his undergraduate years. After college, Davis joined the Air Force, attended officer training school in Texas and was ultimately stationed in Tokyo from 1964-1967 as part of the Air Weather Service.