My name is Randal Davis. I am an art historian, critic and curator specializing in American art 1950-1970. I was asked by a friend, Kassandra Kelly, to help in research for her book on encaustic painting, focusing on Frances Pratt, an American painter who also wrote an important mid-century text on the history and practice of the medium.

I became fascinated by Frances Pratt's life and work, and the breadth of her activities as an author and collector. It would not be appropriate to suggest that she was a major figure as a painter, writer or collector; she was, instead, I think, something almost as interesting, an exemplar of a modernism that didn't quite happen. Call it Modern Alt.

Very little of the information on this site will find its way into Kassandra's book, but I think it worth sharing. If you have any additional knowledge of her life and work, please write to

And you can learn more about Kassandra's work and her book, The Encaustic Materials Handbook, at The Handbook itself is available through at

Thank you for visiting.

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