Pierlane, Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester, MA 01930
Miss Davidge's Classes, 30 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022
Campo Cestio, Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Joanna Stewart Davidge was born on February 7, 1872, the daughter of William Hathorn Stewart Davidge (1827-1877) and Virginia Mason (1 Feb 1830 - Dec 1919). On 21 March 1911, she married David Randall-MacIver at Grace Church, New York, N.Y. She died on 15 May 1931 at Rome, Italy.
Joanna Stewart Davidge was the owner of a New York finishing school and built “Piers Lane” in 1902-1903 in Gloucester. She summered there until 1929, even after marrying British Egyptologist David Randall-MacIver in 1911 and moving to Italy. Henry Davis Sleeper and his Eastern Point neighbors were leading members of “Dabsville,” a social, artistic, and intellectual colony that flourished in the first third of the twentieth century, that both shaped and publicized Beauport. ”Dabsville” was a playful nickname based on the initials of the friends: D for Davidge, A for A. Piatt Andrew, B for Cecilia Beaux, and S for Catherine Sinkler and Sleeper.
In 1903 Isabella Stewart Gardner was introduced to Abram Piatt Andrew, Jr, by Cecilia Beaux, one of the most popular American painters of the era. Beaux was a native of Philadelphia, where she studied art in addition to taking classes in Paris. Beaux had been the first of a group of lesbians and gay men to move to Eastern Point in Gloucester. Her next door neighbor was Joanna Stewart Davidge, the head of a New York School for girls. The next house down belonged to Andrew. Gardner and Andrew became instant friends and she started spending time in Gloucester. Andrew had been recently appointed a Harvard professor, one of the youngest of his time, and had just moved into his Gloucester mansion, Red Roof, a house "honeycombed with secret rooms, hidden passages, bedchamber peepholes and unexpected mirrors." Gardner had invited John Singer Sargent to paint at Fenway Court and Sargent was presnet for Andrew's first visit. Though the two became friends and Sargent would visit Red Roof, Andrew was not impressed by Sargent's physical appearance. "He is very business-like, unaesthetic-looking-person, very large and burly, and with a florid face." Andrew had met Beaux because he was a friend of her nephew, who had also been included in the luncheon at Fenway Court that ended up lasting for hours, an extravagance that Gardner rarely granted.
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