Photo of the sculpture "Start"
David E. Davis’ Start

Did You Know: Start

In honor of the installation of Judy’s Hand Pavilion on Toby’s Plaza, throughout July, we will highlight other highly recognizable outdoor art installations across campus.

Particularly familiar to Case Western Reserve University’s first-year students, Start by David E. Davis is a popular meeting spot for those who live in North Residential Village.

Start sculpture

Born in Romania in 1920, Davis’ family immigrated to the U.S. in 1934, moving to the Cleveland area where he would spend much of his life. He attended the Cleveland School of Art, now the Cleveland Institute of Art, then served in World War II. After the war, he studied at L’Ecole des Des Beaux-Arts in Paris and later received a Master of Fine Arts degree from CWRU.

Start was originally placed at the corner of Bellflower Road and Ford Drive in 1981, but was moved to its current location along Juniper Road in the 1990s. The sculpture, a towering structure of twisted, painted steel, fits well into his typical style. Many of Davis’ works play with geometric shapes, manipulating them through color, thickness and the use of negative space.

When he died in 2002, his obituary in The New York Times noted his significant achievements in sculpture and arts advocacy, particularly in establishing the Sculpture Center in Cleveland with his wife, Bernice, and the Artist Archives of the Western Reserve.

To see Davis’ sculptures in the Cleveland area, visit the Sculpture Center website.