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Twenty-four-year-old Alice at the opening of a Georges Braque show, Chicago, 1939.


In 1939, Alice Davey submitted a nude self-portrait to an exhibition of American painting at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. This photo is from the show's catalog.

Alice met her first husband, William Davey, at her own debut. He was the son of the well-known Santa Fe painter Randall Davey and the stepson of Cyrus McCormick, Jr., one of the wealthiest men in Chicago. He was 21, she 19.

"On Christmas Day, the day after they met, Alice went to the next dinner dance on the calendar, and Bill escorted her home. On December 28 she went to a party with her Dartmouth boyfriend, but abandoned him when she saw Bill. On December 29th Mary Bradley recorded in her date book, 'Alice & Wm Davey married at 3 this a.m.' [...]

"Alice later told the story as a dutiful daughter's revenge. 'When I was made into a debutante I thought that I was on the slave block to be married, so I married the first boy who asked me, three days later. He'd been seated on my left at the party, he was certified as a poet and gentleman by the president of Princeton, and so I ran off with him to Waukegan.'"


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Bill Davey in Santa Fe. He and Alice were known for their noisy arguments in the La Fonda Hotel.

Alice at a costume party in Chicago.