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Floyd Davis, from Forty Illustrators and How They Work by Ernest W. Watson: Watson Guptill, 1946
Davis had made his mark as one of the most successful magazine and advertising illustrators of his time in the years before and after World War II.
An enlargement showing the great skill he possessed in creating wonderful characters, even in advertisements.
Floyd Davis, Altar Cloth, a story in American Magazine, date unknown, wich appeared in Forty Illustrators and How They Work.
We can only speculate that the famous archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) was obviously the inspiration for the priest in the illustration.
A very typical Floyd Davis double-spead illustration, Shame the Devil, from Collier's Magazine for 28 March 1953.
A Floyd Davis illustration for an advertisement for Hiram Walker & Sons
Then, along came World War II and Davis' years depicting military life overseas.
A photo of Davis from the archives of Life Magazine, copyright © Time/Life Inc.
Floyd Davis, Bar in the Hotel Scribe, Paris, 1944
We're indebted to the Flickr account of dbking for this milestone of illustrative reportage:
After the Allies drove the German army out of Paris in August 1944, the bar at the city's Hotel Scribe became a favorite haunt for journalists. As one observer put it, an outgoing stream of "spruce correspondents" was always leaving the bar's comforts for the front lines and an incoming flow of "disheveled correspondents" just back from the front was eager to fill their seats. Among the Scribe's patrons was war illustrator Floyd Davis, who painted this picture for Life magazine, showing the bar filled with reporters who gathered there to talk over their news stories and complain about army press censorship. Among the individuals featured are New Yorker reporter Janet Flanner and CBS newscaster William Shirer seated at a table (lower center) with Ernest Hemingway. The unshaven, helmeted figure in the [right] rear is the famed war photographer Robert Capa.
Other figures include: Floyd MacMillan Davis, Gladys Rockmore Davis [foreground, left], David Edward Scherman, Janet Flanner, William Lawrence Shirer, Ernest Miller Hemingway, A. J. Liebling, Merrill Mueller, Hans Von Kaltenborn, Richard De Rochemont, Bill Reusswig, Ham Green, Robert Allen Cromie, Hugh Schuck, Will Lang, Lee Miller, Graham Miller, Donald MacKenzie, Robin Duff, Ralph Morse, Charles Wertenbaker, Robert Capa, Noel Busch
This, below, and the following illustrations are to be found in the excellent online compilation, Art of the American Soldier by Renée Klish, an electronic publication of the Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, DC.
Floyd Davis, Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda, 1942. Oil on canvas
Davis describes this as a "cross-section of life in Bermuda -- Rear ADM Jules James, commandant U.S. Naval Operating Base, leading the procession across Front Street in Hamilton. Others in picture: Dunkirk survivors, Cameron Highlanders, native Negro troops, U.S. sailors, soldiers and airmen. Local padre on bike, typical horse and carriage in background."
"October 28  We made a few sketches in the morning. It's a rare sunny day, cold but wonderful . . . On the way to lunch we pass the Rainbow Club -- a dozen rucks are unloading boys from the front. They are dirty, tired, their eyes are strangely unsmiling. They move slowly in line, with all their equipment, and unforgettable picture." -- Floyd Davis, Time, Inc. archives.
Floyd Davis, GI in Perfume Shop, 1944
Perfume shops [in France] were quickly sold out to GIs who stood in queues for Chanel and Guerlain, sometimes watered down, for about $4 a bottle. -- caption from Life magazine, 1945.