The early history of this painting is not known.
'Sea Shore scene with bathers' was recorded as bought from Mrs J. Cross by Colnaghi's on 1 November 1917. Their firm passed it to Knoedler's in New York, who sold it to the lawyer C. B. Eddy (who returned it) and then, in November 1919, to the Vose Galleries. Vose sold it to Woodruff J. Parker, a Chicago lawyer, on 5 June 1922. In 1926 it was sold by C. H. Johnson to W. S. Brewster who gave it to the Art Institute of Chicago, of which he was a trustee, in 1933 (at which time he gave his entire collection of Whistleriana to the Art Institute). It was actually transferred from Brewster's home to the Art Institute in 1948.
Although this must surely have been exhibited at Messrs Dowdeswell's in 1886, Petit's in 1887, or Wunderlich's in 1889, or indeed in another exhibition in the 1880s, no record exists of it being exhibited in Whistler’s lifetime. Given the subtle colour scheme, is possible that it was Note in Green and Violet [YMSM 341], which was shown at The sixty-second Annual Exhibition, Society of British Artists, London, 1885 (cat. no. 226).
Last updated: 3rd December 2020 by Margaret