Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Otto Goldschmidt

Birthname: Otto Moritz David Goldschmidt
Nationality: German
Date of birth: 21 August 1829
Place of birth: Hamburg
Date of death: 24 February 1907
Place of death: London
Category: collector


Otto Goldschmidt was a pianist, conductor, composer and impresario. He was the son of a Jewish salesman Moritz David Goldschmidt and women's rights activist Johanna Goldschmidt. He had seven siblings. He married the singer Johanna Maria Lind (1820-1887) known as Jenny Lind, in 1852.


Goldschmidt settled in England in 1858. He was the founder of the London Bach Choir and its conductor from 1875 until 1885. He was the manager of the Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues and instrumental in persuading him to pose for Whistler in 1885 (see Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate y315).

Goldschmidt greatly admired Whistler's work and at some point before March 1891 he bought Nocturne y153. Whistler declared, 'By the way I am so glad you have that 'Nocturne'. You know that its value now is certainly from 800 to a thousand guineas! - and it will only increase in worth - and you bought it from sympathy and liking when things were not so!-' (GUW #07967).

Goldschmidt also bought Grey and Silver: Mist - Life Boat y287, Grey and Green: A River y295 and Note in pink and purple m0935.

Whistler and Goldschmidt were in correspondence throughout the was his brother Enrique Goldschmidt.


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer, and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980 ; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995 .

The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, 1855-1903, edited by Margaret F. MacDonald, Patricia de Montfort and Nigel Thorp; including The Correspondence of Anna McNeill Whistler, 1855-1880, edited by Georgia Toutziari. Online edition, University of Glasgow, 2004.

Find a Grave website.