Keith F. Davis


Keith F. Davis (b. 1952) began making black-and-white photographs in high school in 1969-70. He was introduced to color as an undergraduate in college, but became more serious after taking a course in color photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1979. After moving to Kansas City in the summer of 1979, Davis worked primarily in 4x5" color for the next several years. Since the early 1980s, he has worked in both black and white and color with a variety of camera formats, from 35mm to 12x20-inches. And, light years behind the technological curve, he also began serious use of digital image capture in 2018. Over all these years, he has focused on the natural and cultural landscape—in the U.S. and on his travels abroad. Some of his largest series include funerary statuary in Italy, the battlefields of World War I, and “Temples of Democracy,” a study of the architecture of state capitols.

Davis received a B.S. in Photography in 1974 from Southern Illinois University, and an MA in Art History, with an emphasis in the history of photography, from the University of New Mexico in 1979. He held a research internship at the George Eastman House, in Rochester, New York, in 1978-79. He began his association with Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, in 1979, first as Curator and then as Fine Art Program Director. After the gift of the Hallmark Photographic Collection to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in 2005, Davis founded the museum’s photography department, and served as Curator and Senior Curator of Photography until November 2020. In his 40+ year curatorial career, Davis has organized nearly 100 exhibitions, authored thirty books and catalogues, and lectured on various aspects of photographic history across the U.S. and abroad.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015  YOU PEOPLE, Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO (details)

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