120 works of art, including 57 watercolors; 24 oil paintings; and pieces in tempera, gouache, pastel, ink, pencil, charcoal, wood, and mixed media, ranging in size from 7 x 10 inches to 32 x 26 inches
Pierre Daura (1896–1976), born Pere Francesc Joan Daura i García, was a noted Catalan-American artist. Following early training at the School of Fine Arts (La Llotja) in Barcelona, Daura moved to Paris in 1914 to complete his artistic education. After military service in Minorca during World War I, he returned to Paris in 1920 and became part of its vibrant postwar modern art scene. Daura married the American artist Louise Heron Blair in 1928, and—following the outbreak of World War II—he spent the second half of his life in her home state of Virginia. Daura produced many depictions of the landscape and people of Rockbridge County, where the family settled, and worked prolifically in a variety of media and styles. During the 1940s and 1950s, he also taught at Lynchburg College and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.
The Library of Virginia’s collection of Daura’s work represents both the longevity and breadth of his artistic career, with its greatest strength the images of people and places near his Virginia home. These include self-portraits done over three decades as well as portraits of his wife, their daughter Martha Daura, other family members, and neighbors. Local scenes range from expressive paintings of Rockbridge landmarks like House Mountain to carefully observed drawings of barnyards and farmhouses. Daura’s interest in applying a modernist sensibility to traditional subjects and in playing with materials and technique is apparent throughout the collection, including a series of abstracted watercolor still lifes and figure studies in gouache and ink.
Arrangement and access: 12 works are available on DigiTool as part of the State Artwork Collection
Provenance: The Daura Collection consists primarily of works given by Martha Daura, the artist’s daughter, in 2001 and 2012, as well as one work acquired at auction in 2008.
Camden, Tom. Winter 2011. “Spanish-born Painter Called Virginia Home.” Broadside: The Magazine of the Library of Virginia. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia.
Macià, Teresa. 1999. Pere Daura, 1896–1976: Retorn a Catalunya: Pintures, Dibuixos i Gravats. Barcelona: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
Daura, Martha R., and Kerry Greaves. 2002. Pierre Daura: A Retrospective 1896–1976: Vero Beach Museum of Art, September 7–November 10, 2002. Vero Beach, FL: Vero Beach Museum of Art.
Related resources and collections:
Georgia Museum of Art
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Virginia Historical Society
Daura Gallery, Lynchburg College