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

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The Captive


  • 1903: bought from Whistler by Richard Albert Canfield (1855-1914) , Providence, RI;
  • 1914: sold to Knoedler's, New York dealers, 12 March;
  • 1941: bought from Knoedler's by Mrs William Deering Howe (née Polly Brooks) (d. 1973), New York, 11 November 1941.
  • ca 1957: bought from Kleeman, New York dealers, by James S. Adams;
  • 1974: given by James S. Adams to Indiana University Art Museum (Eskenazi Museum of Art), Bloomington.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art Provenance Project website suggests it was possibly at some time with Howard Mansfield (1849-1938). It is not absolutely certain (but quite possible) that the pastel was in the possession of Knoedler's in New York after 1923 (when it was lent to an exhibition in Baltimore) until it was bought by Mrs Howe in 1941.

See also MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 1524).


  • 1901: 3rd Exhibition, Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, Galleries of the Royal Institute, London, 1901 (cat. no. 39) as 'The Captive'.
  • 1901: Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galeries George Petit, Paris, 1901.
  • 1904: Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mr. J. McNeill Whistler, Copley Society, Boston, 1904 (cat. no. 119) as 'The Captive'.

The 1901 title of 'The Captive' is extremely unusual and sentimental, compared to Whistler's usual titles.

Last updated: 22nd February 2021 by Margaret