Deborah G. Davis explains the role of the art advisor within the contemporary art market, and describes what it was like to reenter the field after taking a near decade-long hiatus to raise a family.
“Take chances, believe in yourself. It was hard for me to make the transition from just doing my job to creating my job…. You have to promote yourself. And there’s this whole worry: ‘Am I good enough? Do I know my stuff? Is my art good enough?’ Don’t think about it so much. Just do it.”
Deborah Goodman Davis is a New York-based art advisor. Born and raised in Montreal, Davis learned her enthusiasm for the arts from her mother, an art historian and collector. She began studying art history herself while in high school and continued as a student at Cornell University, graduating with a BA in 1985. After several internships, including one with the print department of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Davis studied at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Davis subsequently moved to Chicago, where she earned an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago and took another internship, this time with the print department of the Art Institute of Chicago (1987). She has also studied at Yale University, and after graduating from the University of Chicago she worked for several years at the Yale University Art Gallery. In New York she began working with then-art advisor Jeffrey Deitch, helping to mount the internationally traveling exhibition “Post Human.” Davis then put her career on hold for approximately nine years while raising her children. She returned to the art world in the early 2000s with Deborah G. Davis Fine Art, her own art advisory business. Davis currently lives in New Jersey and primarily operates in New York City area.