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

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Study

Provenance

Unknown.

Exhibitions

  • 1889: 22nd Annual Exhibition, American Water Color Society, National Academy of Design, New York, 1889 (cat. no. 365) as 'Study'.

The New York Times mentioned it appreciatively:

'Rarely on this side of the ocean do we get a water color by James McNiel [sic] Whistler, but here is one on the line in the northeast corner of the South Gallery. It is a study of landscape, in which water and sky form the chief part ... It is offered at a price high for a sketch, but not for a Whistler.' 1

On the other hand, Thomas Frost in a letter to the editor of the New York Tribune, dated 14 February and published on 25 February 1889, wrote dismissively:

'There is a "picture" by James McNeill Whistler at the Water Color Exhibition this year ... only did I see a "smut", a dirty little daub, representing absolutely nothing. I observed only three straight lines in foreground - I should say, the bottom of the paper, and a little flake white which apparently had been spat upon the "distance."… In the serene and placid depths of that blot of burnt umber to the north one can see ...Whistler on the witness stand … The catalogue price of this fifty square inches of vacuity is two hundred and sixty dollars; no doubt "fifty guineas" in Whistler's accompanying letter to the society'.

Notes:

1: 'At the Academy of Design', New York Times, New York, 17 February 1889.

Last updated: 31st March 2021 by Margaret