The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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William Slocum Davenport, 1868-1938

Nationality: English ?
Date of Birth: 1868
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1938
Place of Death:


Dr William Slocum Davenport was a dentist working in London, and later in Paris. His brother Dr Isaac Burnet Davenport was also a dentist who lived in Paris.


W. S. Davenport was Whistler's dentist in Paris. Whistler thought very highly of him and would send both models and servants to him when they had toothache. For example, in 1896 he sent his model Lillie Pennington for treatment (#09072) and on another occasion his maidservant (#10572). Whistler's sister-in-law Rosalind Birnie Philip consulted Davenport's brother when in Paris in the late 1890s. Whistler told J. J. Cowan, 'their operating was just like the flutter of a butterfly in his mouth'.

Whistler began to paint a portrait of Davenport's brother in 1894 but this was abandoned and another begun in 1895, Portrait of Dr Isaac Burnet Davenport (YMSM 426). I. B. Davenport sat on and off for this painting until 1902/1903. After Whistler's death, the portrait was varnished and sent to the sitter. It was exhibited at the Whistler memorial exhibition in Paris in 1905.

Whistler attended séances run by the Davenport brothers in Paris.

There was an American artist of this name who painted landscapes and architectural subjects, and painted some pictures in Paris. This suggests that the dentist was an amateur artist.


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.