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Now known as a muralist and a contemporary Santa Fe school painter specializing in horses, Randall Davey originally studied architecture at Cornell University from 1905 to 1907. He then began his art studies with Robert Henri, first in New York City in 1909 and then in Europe one year later. Both Henri and Davey exhibited at the important 1913 Armory Show.
Davey was one of the early members of the Santa Fe art colony in 1919, persuading John Sloan to motor to Santa Fe in Davey’s 1912 Simplex open touring car. Davey immediately bought an old mill in a nearby canyon, establishing himself as the rare Western artist who preferred nudes to Indians. “Not opposed to Indians as subjects for others, he has failed to find in their color and customs any pictorial stimulation.”
Moving around, Davey taught at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1920, at the Kansas City Art Institute from 1921 to 1924, at the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1924 to 1931, and at the University of New Mexico from 1945 to 1964. At Broadmoor his salary in 1924 was twice the usual rate because he “was also a first-class polo player.” When polo declined as a Broadmoor sport, Davey left. It was said of him that “Horse racing subjects, with all the magnificent pageantry, are among his most noted canvases, painted in a clean, direct way. He puts them down with spirit.”
Reference: Samuel’s Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, Harold and Peggy Samuels