DUVEEN, Miss Dorothy (1923/4)

Head and shoulders portrait, dressed in a fur-collared coat, dated outside the oval lower left ‘1925’.

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

DUVEEN GALLERIES, 720 Fifth Avenue, New York, April 6 – 18, 1925, No. 7, as “MISS X” (the artist has written her name against the entry in the handlist stuck in his scrapbook [artist’s papers]).

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A photograph of Dorothy Duveen in the early 1920s.

Dorothy Duveen (1903-1985), the only child and daughter of art dealer Joseph Duveen, married firstly on 23 July 1931 (div. 1937) as his first wife, Lt Cmdr Sir William Francis Cuthbert Garthwaite, 2nd Bt. DSC (born 3 January 1906; died 1993), 1st son and heir of Sir William Garthwaite, 1st Bt., by his first wife Francesca Margharita Parfett, daughter of William Parfett. Muller-Ury sent her a still life of roses as a wedding present. On March 19, 1936 the artist recorded in his diary that, ‘At Duveen’s everybody was disconcerted because the husband [of Dorothy] wants a million pounds for the divorce…’ He also lays the blame on Lady Duveen for interfering in the marriage. On October 18, 1936 he records in his diary that ‘The Duveen daughter is arranging the divorce paying the husband $100,000.’

In 1938 she married Dr. Brian Hartop Burns, a surgeon, who predeceased her by a few weeks.

The Handlist for Muller-Ury’s exhibition at the Duveen Galleries, April 6 to 18, 1925. This portrait of Dolly Duveen was listed as Miss “X”.

It is not known why Muller-Ury painted Dorothy Duveen at this time, but it may have been simply to include it in his 1925 exhibition.

Dolly Duveen on the cover of Country LIfe at the time of her first marriage in 1931.

Dolly Duveen seems not to have kept either of the two portraits Muller-Ury painted of her. She had been painted by many artists in her childhood and young adulthood, as was her father, including Harrington Mann, Ambrose McEvoy, Artur Lajos Halmi, and London miniaturist Dorothy Vicaji. She was later painted by Augustus John whose portrait she did keep and bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery, London. The present editor was approached by a woman who had known Dolly in her final years in London after he gave a lecture on Muller-Ury at the Swiss Embassy who said that Dolly sold off most of her things; however, there is evidence in the Duveen Papers in the Getty Research Center that some of Dolly’s things were destroyed in a fire in a storage unit.