Davis received his B.S. degree in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University and his M.A. degree in the History of Art from the University of New Mexico. He held a research internship at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, from 1978-79. In 1979 he became Curator of the Hallmark Fine Art Collections, Chief Curator in 1987, and Fine Arts Program Director in 1992. Davis is also an adjunct professor of Art History at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He has curated more than sixty exhibitions from the Hallmark art and photography holdings, which have been seen in leading museums throughout the United States and in Great Britain, France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. Davis has authored twelve catalogs and books, including An American Century of Photography: From Dry-Plate to Digital and The Photographs of Dorothea Lange.