The Lost French Murals of Bob Davenport

Isn’t the Internet amazing? A few years ago, I bought an offbeat Des Moines newspaper comic starring Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters, illustrated by a cartoonist named Bob Davenport. Eventually, I scanned it and put it online. Then I heard from relatives of the artist who pointed me to more of his work.

And now I’ve heard from Paul Vandendael, who discovered some murals drawn by Sgt. Bob Davenport in a building in Reims, France in 1945–a building that was intended to be a hotel, but turned into an apartment building. Searching for information on Davenport, he found my site.

The murals are exuberant, earthy, at least somewhat offensive–and fun. And they’re in surprisingly good shape, although at least one looks to be either unfinished or missing part of itself.

Here they are–in the pre-Web days, what would the chances have been that any of us would have ever seen ’em?

davebar.jpg

davcowboy.jpg

davjug.jpg

davcouple.jpg

davsombrero.jpg

davsignature.jpg

8 thoughts on “The Lost French Murals of Bob Davenport”

  1. Nice work. I like the first one, in an early draft of the style of some memorable 7-Up ads (print and video) of a few years later. The cowboy one looked good, too. Pity about the plastering.

  2. Wow, those are really great. 🙂 I love this type of art, and somehow the fact that it’s lived somewhere and been beat up on makes it all the more magical- digital art is too polished some days.

    The style’s classic. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. I stumbled on this Lost French Murals of Bob Davenport. It looks like something my Uncle Bob D. may have done during his overseas service in the US Army. At the moment I can’t verify that he was in Reims, France in 1945, but he was serving in France during that time and the signature depicted is exactly as he signed his work in those days. I’ve never heard of these murals before and will circulate the photos amongst the family. I will email a photo of a 1939 illustration I have which clearly shows the Bob Davenport signature.

  4. hello,
    Ihave 2 pencil drawings by an artist named bob davenport. i am trying to find information about him and also get an ides of the value of the drawings. one is summer and the other is winter illustrating the same scene. i am from des moines, iowa and this is where i came across the drawings. when i got them they were framed and matted. vwery nice except maybe some yellowing of the paper, almost looks like they are drawn on manilla paper…. any help you can give would be appreciated.

  5. suzanne hamilton – you can contact me by email. Harry McCracken (blog admin) has address. John Davenport

  6. i have been looking for background info on bob davenport for quite some time. i have 2 pieces of art by bob that were gifts from a neighbor. both are western in detail one is blue and white cowboy on horse with mountain in background. the other looks to be etched on copper also a cowboy on horse traveling down a ravine
    any idea of when these may have been done and would love to know more about the artist–ie when/where he was born, still alive? etc
    thank you for any details you may provide
    i love this artwork and have had it for over 30 years

  7. Bob and my father (John Schacht) worked together at the Des Moines Register and Tribune and were very good friends, I remember Bob coming over for dinner and eating with us on the screened in porch, Bob was a very good story teller and just an all around good human being, I remember my mother, in tears, telling me that he had passed away.

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