Please pardon our dust. Our team is hard at work standardizing and improving our database content. If you need assistance, please contact us.
"...His mother, sister of painter (Charles) Ramsey, had studied fabric design abroad, and his father, Don Davenport, was also a textile designer. They had opened their "weaveroom" in 1916, and by the time I became aware of its wonders, it was full of large looms on which were woven rugs, hangings, bags, and table mats, mostly of virgin wool or cotton... The Davenports held an annual exhibition starting in 1920, drawing in the first year three hundred fifty visitors."
-Barbara Bredin Daugert, New Hope First Artists, 1900-1940, James A. Michener Art Museum archives
Ethel Davenport was a painter and weaver. When she came to New Hope in 1911, she was already an established watercolorist. Davenport spent most of her childhood in France, where she was educated alongside her brother Charles Ramsey. During the 1920s, she achieved recognition for her weaving and for her knowledgeable writing on the subject. Davenport and her husband, Don, also a textiles artist, wove rugs on antique and modern looms that they had collected. Their work, which they often harmonized with individual decorations, depicted anything from realistic animals to more modern, intricately colorful designs. Their table runners and bags were popular throughout the country. In 1933, Davenport became the craft editor of New Hope, a magazine founded by Peter Keenan to promote modernism. In 1934, the Davenports offered their studio as a gallery for the Independents, a group of modernists rebelling against impressionism's stronghold in the area. Additionally, the Davenports were among the founders of the Philips' Mill Community Association.
Education and Training
Philadelphia Textile School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1896-1897
Connection to Bucks County
Ethel Ramsey came to New Hope in 1911. She met her future husband, Don Davenport, in 1912. The Davenports spent their married life in a rambling white house at the first bend of River Road north of New Hope. The couple were part of the founding group of the Phillips' Mill Community Association, and, in 1934, their studio became the gallery for the New Hope modernist group known a the Independents.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Don was a textile artist and the head designer at the mills in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In 1934, their studio became the gallery for the New Hope modernist group known a the Independents, which included Ethel's brother, artist Charles Frederick Ramsey. Davenport also served as the craft editor for the New Hope magazine founded by artist Peter Keenan.
Major Group Exhibitions
Phillips' Mill Community Association Exhibition, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1932, 1933
50th Anniversary Retrospective Art Exhibition, Phillips' Mill, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1979
Affiliations and Memberships
Phillips' Mill Community Association, New Hope, PA
Crafts Editor, The New Hope, New Hope, 1933-1934
Click on any image to open it full size with captions.