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Contributed by Arizona Capitol Museum
About the Artist
David Swing (1864-1945) studied art under his father and Thomas Lindsey, but began his career as a musician. He began to give violin concerts in 1884. He continued to play music in the orchestra of Theodore Thomas, the Pasadena Municipal Band, organizing and directing the Alhambra Municipal Band and Orchestra, and to play violin and cello in the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. From the start of his musical career until his move to Phoenix, David Swing worked with lithograph firms and as president of an engraving firm. In Phoenix, he eventually gave up his career as a musician to focus on painting desert life. Along with his Golden Gate International Exposition paintings, Swing also painted for Masonic temples, government hospitals and theaters. He continued painting until the end of his life.
About the Collection
David Swing created 13 unique carved reliefs for the grandstand at the Arizona State Fairgrounds were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). These reliefs, contributed by the Arizona Exposition and State Fair, are included in this collection.
Golden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco, 1939
David Swing's crowning achievement as a painter was his commission to paint murals for the Arizona State exhibit at the Golden Gate International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1939. These paintings represent nature through lush greenery and well-known places in Arizona including the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, mountains, missions, Native ruins, dams and lakes.
Correspondence includes an invitation to a gallery exhibition in 1894, personal correspondences and hand-drawn sketches. These items were contributed by the Arizona Historical Foundation.