May 25, 2005
CW's John Davis recognized by International Pewter Society for Outstanding Scholarship
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – John Davis, the Samuel and Pauline Clarke curator and Colonial Williamsburg’s senior curator of metals, recently received international recognition from The Pewter Society in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the appreciation of pewter. A ceremony last month at Pewterers’ Hall in London honored Davis and two British and Dutch colleagues, Ron Homer and Berend Dubbe, as the first recipients of The Pewter Society medal.
The Pewter Society, which includes approximately 150 members, described Davis as one of the world’s greatest museum curators who has built Colonial Williamsburg’s pewter collection into one of the three most important collections of British pewter in the world.
“John is one of the nation’s most widely recognized experts on the subject of 18th-century British and American metal wares,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg’s Carlisle H. Humelsine curator and vice president of collections and museums. “His development of Colonial Williamsburg’s outstanding pewter collection over the last 40 years and his first-rate scholarship on the subject are unparalleled. John’s receipt of The Pewter Society’s inaugural medal is richly deserved.”
During his distinguished career, Davis has curated numerous exhibitions and authored several books. His most recent exhibition, “Pewter at Colonial Williamsburg,” displayed more than 250 objects from the foundation’s notable collection at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The exhibition and accompanying publication were produced in part with a generous grant of $125,000 from the Sara Lee Corp.
In addition to the catalog for “Pewter at Colonial Williamsburg,” Davis also is the author of “The Robert and Meredith Green Collection of Silver Nutmeg Graters” (2002), “The Genius of Irish Silver” (1991) and “English Silver at Williamsburg” (1976).
Davis was appointed Colonial Williamsburg’s Clarke curatorial chair in 1997 thanks to the generosity of Chicago collectors Samuel and Pauline Clarke. He was enrolled as an Associate by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in London in 1995. Davis received a bachelor’s degree in history from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware.