Arthur Fuller Davis Gallery

Brief History

Arthur Fuller Davis was Acton's longest serving Librarian (1902-1945). He was born in 1863 in Roxbury, Massachusetts and at age 12 moved to 491 Main Street in Acton. He graduated from the Acton Center Grammar School and went on to study painting in Malden with Albion Bicknell. He later studied and worked in New York City.

In 1892, he returned to Acton where he continued his painting. In 1902 he was elected the Librarian of the Acton Memorial Library and served 43 years. His home at 491 Main Street was diagonally across the street from the Library, making for an easy commute. Most of his works show Acton as he saw it on his frequent walks and bicycle trips and from the windows of his home.

The detailed descriptions in his journals, and his many sketchbooks, give us a vivid picture of life in the Town over a period of 60 years. In 1935 he wrote a history of the Acton Memorial Library, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of the town.

The Online Gallery

The Online Gallery contains works by Arthur Davis that belong to the Acton Memorial Library.  The library's collection significantly increased with a gift from Richard  Nylander in 2017. These gifts can be viewed  in a separate gallery.


The Acton Memorial Library and its licensors retain all proprietary rights to the content. The content may not be reproduced, transmitted or distributed without the express prior written consent of the Acton Memorial Library Board of Trustees.

Minute Men Leaving the Home of Captain Isaac Davis, April 19, 1775  (94.1.1). Departure of the Davis Guards for Lowell, 1861  (95.3.1).  The Second Meeting House, on the site of the present Town Hall, burned in a fire that devastated Acton Center in 1862. Town Hall, Acton  (38.1.5). Town Hall, built in 1863, is located on the site of the Second Meeting House, which burned down in 1862.  In 2016 the now-expanded building was repainted in its historical colors, which are shown here, Boys Playing Football (38.1.8). The Memorial Library is in the background. Painted from Mr. Davis' house at 491 Main Street. From the Library Steps  (38.1.1).  The large trees on both sides of the street were destroyed by the 1938 hurricane. Acton Center School House (37.1).  Located on Meeting House Hill, the school was built in 1872. The upper floor was added in 1901 and it was demolished in 1957. Nagog Tavern, about 1890  (27.1.1)  Painted from a description as it appeared around 1890. Demolished in 1970s. Sam Brown House  (74.38.1)  House rebuilt on site of Isaac Davis House. Children at Play (38.1.2) Fairgrounds at the rear of library property. Barn, behind Center Store, was razed in 1970s. Mr. Davis in His Garden  (88.9.2).  Dated 1911. Brooks Tavern (27/1/), as it was imagined to appear in April, 1775. Van Winkel's Farm  (2012.14.1) Shoddy Mill on River Street, South Acton  (71.1.1).  Also known as Reitzer's (or Rawitser's) Mill. Dam on Concord Road, East Acton (38.1.9) Twilight  (2006.1.3) Apple Picking (77.2.1).   Oil under glass. The Storm  (38.1.7) Autumn Scene  (38.1.4) Echo Lake, New Hampshire  (69.4.1).  Gift to Florence Merriam's classroom, South Acton School. Man Walking Through Fields  (88.7.2). Hillside in Early Fall  (88.8.3) Stone Wall, Acton Center  (88.8.1) Nashoba Brook  (82.1.1) Red Maple  (2000.2.1) William Livermore's Field (2006.1.2) My First Watercolor  (1997.2.1) On the Lake Shores (2002.2.1).   Forge Pond, Westford, 1912 Folly Cove, Annisquam  (88.8.2) Littleton from Fort Pond Hill  (38.1.6).  Newtown Road. Autumn Scene  (38.1.3) Cows Grazing along Nashoba Brook  (77.2.2) Farmer in Blue Apron  (2000.2.2) An Autumnal Hunting Scene (73.34.1).  Dated 1944.  Previously hung in the foyer of Julia McCarthy School. Boat House, Sandy Pond (Lincoln).  (69.4.2)  This painting was originally a gift to Acton schools and hung for over 30 years in Julia McCarthy's classroom at the South Acton School. Annisquam Cove (2006.1.1) Martha Parsons Davis (2009.3.1).  The artist's mother. Jonathan White Loker (66.1.11).  He was a veteran of the Civil War. Still Life  (1997.2.2).  Painted as an assignment while studying with Albion Bicknell. Ice House Pond (1995.1.1).  Trained as an etcher, Arthur Davis produced etchings of some of his works during the 1890s. This plate was lost after Davis died in 1953 and resurfaced in 1994. This etching was made from the original plate using the process that would have originally been used. Nashoba Brook  (1995.1.2) Minute Men Leaving Home of Captain Isaac Davis, April 19, 1775  (69.4.3).  This etching used to hang in the West School. Summer Day  (88.9.1) Bartlett's Boat House, Concord (2009.1.1) Old Griffin Wharf, Annisquam. (88.7.1).  Pen and ink. Davis occasionally visited his mother's family on Cape Ann. In Middlesex (1997.1.1)  Etching on silk. The Old Canal (2014.2) Old New England House (1997.1.2)  Etching on silk. The Brook (2014.4) Reflections in a Stream (2014.5) New England Rocks (2016.1) Annisquam  (2007.3.1).  Etching on silk.