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

Home  > Catalogue > Exhibitions > London_1889a (related works) > Search Display

Carlyle's Sweetstuff Shop


  • 1925/35: bought from W. O'Leary, Detroit art dealer, by John L. Robertson (dates unknown) , Scranton, PA;
  • By 1972: passed to his daughter, Mrs Jean Maloney (dates unknown) (Mrs Robert Walter Maloney, Jr);
  • 1972/1978: sold by her to Hirschl & Adler, New York dealers;
  • By 1978: sold by them to Agnew's, London dealers;
  • 1979: sold by them to D'Offay, London dealer;
  • 1979: with Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London dealers;
  • 1979: sold by them to Dr John Larkin (n/a) , White Bear Lake, MN;
  • 1985: sold by Knoedler-Modarco, New York, to Daniel J. Terra (1911-1996) , IL;
  • 1992: Terra Foundation for the Arts Collection, Chicago, IL;
  • By 2005: Terra Foundation for the Arts collection on extended loan to the Art Institute of Chicago.

The first known owner, William O'Leary, wrote an article on Whistler in 1889 and it is possible he bought the painting around that time. 1


  • 1889: Retrospective Exhibition, College for Working Men and Women, London, 1889 (no catalogue).

In 1889 the art critic of The Echo wrote, ' "Carlyle's Sweetstuff Shop," a tiny bit of most precious colour, is a well-remembered gem – just a bit of wall, an old village shop window, with oranges and sweets, a door and two children's figures.' 2 This description does not entirely tally with the work: there are two children in the doorway and although there are no obvious oranges, or, for that matter, sweets, the painting is probably darker than it was in 1889. The Echo implies that the painting had been exhibited earlier in the 1880s but it cannot be identified with certainty with any earlier title.


1: O'Leary, William, 'Whistler as an Etcher', News, Chicago, 20 October 1889.

2: The Echo, London, 20 May 1889; press cutting in GUL Whistler PC19, p. 93.

Last updated: 25th November 2020 by Margaret