Skip navigation
Media File
William M. Davis
Date: American, 1829-1920
Biography: William Davis spent most of his life in Port Jefferson, Long Island, where he painted the area’s quiet harbors, coves, and cottages. There, he befriended William Sidney Mount, one of the leading genre painters of the early nineteenth century. Inspired by Mount’s deft realism, Davis created genre scenes and trompe l'oeil still lifes whose politically-controversial character attracted national attention. One painting of President Jefferson Davis proved so popular that it was widely reproduced in prints and postcards. Davis exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Brooklyn Art Association. The Port Jefferson Historical Society Museum held a retrospective entitled “Port Jefferson's Foremost Painter: W.M. Davis” in 1973; his work is also featured in the Butler Museum of American Art and the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages.