In a very different vein, Davies’s esoteric allegory of physical beauty and mystical transcendence, Sweet Tremulous Leaves, was included in Dale’s 1963 bequest. In 1970, John Sloan’s daughter donated her father’s nocturnal evocation of the great modern city of New York as seen from the unusual viewpoint of one of its most notoriously bohemian, marginalized enclaves: The City from Greenwich Village [fig. 1]. Rounding out the Gallery’s representation of The Eight are a painting by William Glackens featured in the epochal 1913 Armory Show in New York, Family Group, given by his son Ira in 1971, and a signature work by Prendergast donated by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon in 1971, Salem Cove.
In addition to his contributions as an artist, Robert Henri was perhaps the most influential teacher of his era. Among the successive waves of students who fell under the spell of his inspirational, all-encompassing mantra of “art for life’s sake” at the New York School of Art were four of the most talented members of the first-generation of American modernists: Bellows, Hopper, and Kent, all born in 1882, and Pène du Bois, born in 1884. Among the 1963 Dale bequest were two Parisian subjects by Pène du Bois from the late 1920s, a time when many American modernists were drawn to France, Café du Dôme and La Rue de la Santé, as well as two New York scenes, Hallway, Italian Restaurant (1922) and an early work from circa 1912, The Politicians. All of these convey the artist’s fascination with the shadowy, elusive encounters of modern urban life.