Historic Painting Finds Home at Music Hall

The Marion Board of Selectmen met for a special meeting on August 21 to sign an agreement with the Sippican Historical Society to allow a cherished painting by a well-known Marion artist to indefinitely grace a wall inside the Marion Music Hall.

The framed oil on canvas titled “The Redhead” by Cecil Clark Davis (1877-1934) portrays an auburn-haired, finely-dressed female, identified in pencil on the back as Miss Adamson, seated in a mission style armchair at the Hotel des Grandes Ecotes in Paris.

The Sippican Historical Society acquired the piece in 2013. It was cleaned and lined and is mounted in a gilded frame.

Davis was born in Chicago but lived in Marion for many years. She was married to Richard Harding Davis, a famous war correspondent. She studied art under famous portrait artist John Singer Sargent.

The agreement the selectmen ratified Friday morning was contingent upon some changes Town Administrator Paul Dawson had made to the contract, which he called “minor edits.” Dawson said Town Counsel Jon Witten had reviewed the agreement, suggested the changes, and the amendments were forwarded to a representative of the society.

“It really was minor edits,” Dawson said. “I’m certain that the Sippican Historical Society will have no problem with it.” The society could come back in disagreement, said Dawson, but he doubted it.

“The Music Hall Committee is eager to have a piece of artwork that was done by Cecil Clark Davis,” said Dawson. He said the loaning of the artwork is for a long-term, potentially permanent basis.

The painting is slated for a wall in the front conference room of the Marion Music Hall.

The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 8 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Police Station conference room.

By Jean Perry


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