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


Marion Peck

Title: Mrs W.R. Farquhar
Birthname: Marion peck
Nationality: American
Date of birth: ca 1872
Category: sitter


Marion, the eldest daughter of Annie and Harold Stanton Peck of the U.S. Navy. At the time of the 1880 census they were living in Chicago, with Marion (then 8) and two sisters, Amanda (aged 5) Haroldine (aged 1).

They made several trips to Europe. For instance, in 1896, her mother returned with the 23 year old Marion and her sisters to New York from England.

In 1897, Marion married William Rickman Farquhar (1860-1952), the third son of Admiral Sir Arthur Farquhar of Aberdeenshire.

After her marriage (which took place in Chicago), the Farquhars continued to travel extensively. In 1916 for instance Mr and Mrs Farquhar arrived in Liverpool from America in the St Paul and in 1934 they travelled to Lisbon, Portugal on the Baloeran.


Mrs Peck commissioned Whistler to paint a portrait of her daughter in 1895. She was posing for Portrait of Miss Marion Peck y439 from March 1895 at intervals for several years. The portrait was never completed to Whistler's satisfaction.

According to the New York Sun, by November 1896 Marion had given over 90 sittings. The painting was still incomplete in 1900 and in June 1901 the Farquhars withdrew the deposit. The painting was still in Whistler's studio at his death in 1903 when the Farquhars tried unsuccessfully once again to obtain it.


US census, 1880; New York Sun, 12 November 1896; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer, and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980

New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957,