George and Harriet Davison

The Davison Art Collection's name reflects the foundational role of George W. Davison (B.A. Wesleyan 1892), who donated the heart of Wesleyan University's print collection and enabled the creation of the DAC's former facility as an annex to the historic Alsop House. Davison was the greatest benefactor of the Davison Art Collection.

George Davison graduated from Wesleyan in 1892 and married Middletown native Harriet R. Baldwin in 1895. He became a banker in New York, and began collecting prints in about 1907. Beginning in the 1930s he gradually gave his collection of some 6,000 prints to Wesleyan. In 1952, the year before the couple died, they supported the establishment of the Davison Art Collection in an addition to the historic Alsop House.

The Davisons also donated a superb collection of rare books to Wesleyan and funded the creation of the Davison Rare Book Room at Olin Library Special Collections & Archives.