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Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent

17 of 19 portraits on display in Room 27 at the National Portrait Gallery

Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent, by Noel Denholm Davis, 1909 - NPG L247 - © Alliance Boots; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London

© Alliance Boots; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London

Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent

by Noel Denholm Davis
oil on canvas, 1909
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1015 mm)
Lent by Walgreens Boots Alliance, 2011
Primary Collection
NPG L247


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On long term loan from Walgreens Boots Alliance, Davis's 1909 portrait of Jesse Boot (1850-1931) records one of the great entrepreneurs of the Victorian period whose firm remains a household name today. It is characteristic of Boot that he should have chosen a local Nottingham artist in Denholm Davis to paint his portrait. He is shown as still the active businessman, alert and seated at his desk. It was presented to him 'by the male employees of Boots Cash Chemists' in 1909.

Events of 1909back to top

Current affairs

The American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge opens the first British custom-built department store on what was then the 'dead end' of Oxford Street. The revolutionary complex, considered the world's largest at the time, transforms shopping, offering diverse amenities including a post office and a library, and modernises the visual face of retailing through innovative window displays.

Art and science

The Frenchman Louis Bleriot becomes the first person to cross the English channel by aeroplane, winning the £1,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail, and greeted by cheering crowds at Dover station. Bleriot's flight also showed that England was, as H.G. Wells put it, from a military point of view 'no longer an inaccessible island'. In dance, Alexandre Benois becomes the first artistic director of Sergey Diaghilev's innovative Ballets Russes.

International

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is founded in America to campaign for the rights of African Americans. One of the oldest and most influential civil rights movements, it was founded by a diverse group of individuals from mixed backgrounds, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Henry Moscowitz and William English Walling. The Selig Polyscope company sets up the first film studio in Los Angeles.

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