The Face on the Barroom Floor (painting)

The Face on the Barroom Floor (painting)

"The Face on the Barroom Floor" is a painting on the floor of the Teller House Bar in Central City, Colorado, United States. It was painted in 1936 by Herndon Davis.

tory of the painting

Davis had been commissioned by the Central City Opera Association to paint a series of paintings for the Central City Opera House; he was also requested to do some work at the Teller House. One afternoon at the bar he became embroiled in a heated argument with Ann Evans, the project director, about the manner in which his work should be executed. The upshot of the fight was that Davis was told to quit, or else he would be fired.

According to one version of the story, the painting was the suggestion of a busboy named Joe Libby; knowing that Davis would soon be fired, he suggested that the artist "give them something to remember [him] by". [ [ Whose Face Is It? ] ]

In Davis' own words [ [ People - Herndon Davis ] ] ,

The Central City Opera House Association hired me to do a series of paintings and sketches of the famous mining town, which they were then rejuvenating as an opera center and tourist attraction. I stayed at the Teller House while working up there, and the whim struck me to paint a face on the floor of the old Teller House barroom. In its mining boom heyday it was just such a floor as the ragged artist used in d’Arcy's famous old poem. But the hotel manager and the bartender would have none of such tomfoolery. They refused me permission to paint the face. Still the idea haunted me, and in my last night in Central City, I persuaded the bellboy Jimmy Libby to give me a hand. After midnight, when the coast was clear, we slipped down there. Jimmy held a candle for me and I painted as fast as I could. Yet it was 3 AM when I finished.

Whatever the inspiration, Davis did not sign his work, and soon the bar's owners chose to capitalize on it. They advertised the painting as that from the poem "The Face on the Barroom Floor" by Hugh Antoine D'Arcy. The actual subject of the painting is not known for certain, but is believed to be Davis' wife Nita.

Chamber opera

The Teller House painting was the inspiration for a chamber opera by Henry Mollicone.


External links

* [ Story of the painting]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Face on the Barroom Floor — can refer to:*a poem by Hugh Antoine D Arcy; see The Face on the Barroom Floor (poem) *a 1914 film starring Charlie Chaplin; see The Face on the Barroom Floor (film) *a painting, by Herndon Davis, on the floor of the Teller House Bar in Central… …   Wikipedia

  • The Face on the Barroom Floor (poem) — The Face on the Barroom Floor is a poem written by Hugh Antoine D Arcy in 1887. OverviewWritten in ballad form, it tells the story of an artist ruined by love; having lost his beloved Madeline to another man, he has turned to drink. In the poem,… …   Wikipedia

  • The Face on the Bar Room Floor — can refer to the following:* The Face on the Barroom Floor (poem), an 1887 poem by Hugh Antoine d Arcy * The Face on the Barroom Floor (painting), a 1936 painting inspired by the poem * The Face on the Barroom Floor (opera), a chamber opera by… …   Wikipedia

  • Portal:Opera — Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences People Philosophy Religion Society Technology …   Wikipedia

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