Miles Davis Show of ‘Cool’ Art

Legendary trumpeter didn’t just blow—he painted, too—and his art is now an exhibit
Miles Davis
(photo: Insight Editions)

No, you won’t see any sketches of Spain in the Napa Valley Museum’s new exhibit, ‘Miles Davis: The Art of Cool,’ which shows paintings and drawings by the late ‘cool jazz’ trumpeter, known for such disks as Cookin’, Walkin’, Sketches of Spain, and Kind of Blue.

“Everybody immediately hears ‘Miles Davis’ and thinks we’re doing an exhibition on his life. But we’re showing his art,” says Kristie Sheppard, the museum’s executive director. “It has this little element of surprise.”

The exhibit, which runs through July 28 at the museum (55 Presidents Circle, Yountville), also features Miles memorabilia, including a trumpet. Events include a ‘Jazz Day for Kids’ June 22, a screening of the film Round Midnight June 29, and a performance by legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb July 27 at the nearby Lincoln Theater.

Davis’ art ranges from sketches of sylph-like women—Filles de Kilimanjaro, perhaps—to abstract expressionist-like images that suggest jazz musicians.

Sheppard sees Picasso in his work, and traditional African art. “His art is very flowing,” she says. “The only thing that ties it all together is his use of bold colors.”

For more, visit the Napa Valley Museum web site here.