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

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Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket

Titles

Several possible titles have been suggested:

  • 'Arrangement in Brown' (1877, Grosvenor). 1
  • 'Maud - fur jacket' (1886/1887, Whistler). 2
  • Possibly 'Miss Franklin' (1886, International Exhibition, Edinburgh). 3
  • 'Arrangement en noir No. 3' (1888, Société des XX, Brussels). 4
  • 'The Fur Jacket. Arrangement in black No. 3' (1889, Nederlandsche Etsclub, Amsterdam). 5
  • 'The fur jacket' (1890, Exposition Générale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels). 6
  • 'Miss Franklin' (1890, Whistler). 7
  • 'Arrangement in Black – The Fur Jacket' (1891, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). 8
  • 'Arrangement in Black and Brown. The Fur Jacket' (1892, Goupil). 9
  • 'Furred Jacket' (1892, J. and B. Whistler). 10
  • 'Die Peltzjacke' (1892, VI. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Munich). 11
  • 'The Fur Jacket' (1893, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago). 12
  • 'Brown & Gold the Furred Jacket' (1898, Whistler). 13
  • 'The Fur Jacket' (1901, International Exhibition, Glasgow). 14
  • 'The Fur Jacket' and 'Arrangement in Black and Brown, The Fur Jacket' (1905, ISSPG). 15
  • 'Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket' (1980, YMSM). 16

It was recorded as part of a numbered sequence in 1888 and 1889 as 'Arrangement in Black, No. 3' , but Whistler had already exhibited Arrangement in Black, No. 3: Sir Henry Irving as Philip II of Spain [YMSM 187] with that number.

A photograph in the Lucas Collection, Baltimore, shows the picture before completion. 17 Joseph Pennell (1860-1926) called this 'the destroyed version' and said Whistler gave it the title 'Arrangement in Brown'. 18

'Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket' is the preferred title.

Description


                    Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket, Worcester Art Museum
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket, Worcester Art Museum

A full-length portrait of a woman standing, in profile to left. She wears a dark brown dress with a gathered skirt, and a fur-trimmed jacket, and stands against a very dark background. The canvas is in vertical format.

Sitter


                    Maud Franklin, photograph, Library of Congress
Maud Franklin, photograph, Library of Congress

Maud Franklin (1857-1939), Whistler's chief model and partner.

Two portraits exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877 were described by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) as sisters 'caught in a London fog', which confirms that they showed the same woman. 19

On 2 August 1892 Whistler wrote through his amanuensis, Beatrice Philip (Mrs E. W. Godwin, Mrs J. McN. Whistler) (1857-1896), to the Glasgow art dealer Alexander Reid, stating that the portrait of Janey Sevilla Campbell (Lady Archibald Campbell) (ca 1846-d.1923) (namely Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell [YMSM 242]) was 'much more important, (than, for instance, the "Furred Jacket", which is more of an artists picture) besides being the portrait of a well-known lady - instead of an obscure nobody.' 20

Notes:

1: I Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877 (cat. no. 9).

2: [1886/1887], formerly dated [4/11 January 1892], GUW #06795. A reference to 'Mrs Godwin' in the list indicates a date before his marriage in 1888. The list may have been related to an abortive plan for a retrospective exhibition at the RBA in 1886/1887.

3: International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1886 (cat. no. 1414).

4: Ve Exposition des XX, Société des XX, Brussels, 1888 (cat. no. 1).

5: Derde Tentoonstelling der Nederlandsche Etsclub, Amsterdam, 1889 (cat. no. 469).

6: Exposition Générale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1890 (cat. no. 839).

7: GUW #10925.

8: 21st Autumn Exhibition of Pictures, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1891 (cat. no. 906).

9: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 8).

10: Letter to A. Reid, [2 August 1892], GUW #05136; Reid called it the 'fur (or furred) jacket', 4 August 1892, GUW #05137.

11: VI. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Königlicher Glaspalast, Munich, 1892 (cat. no. 1950)

12: World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893 (cat. no. 751). Likewise in Sixty-third Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893 (cat. no. 29), and 1st Annual Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1896.

13: Whistler to Society of Austrian Artists, 12 February 1898, GUW #12579.

14: International Exhibition, Glasgow Art Galleries, Glasgow, 1901 (cat. no. 399); likewise in 77th Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1903 (cat. no. 232).

15: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler, First President of The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1905 (cat. no. 14) in ordinary and deluxe edition respectively.

16: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 181).

17: Pennell 1911 A [more] , repr. f. p. 428.

18: Pennell, Joseph, ‘The Forty Undiscovered Whistlers’, International Studio, vol. 72, February 1921, pp. cv-cxiii., at p. cxii.

19: Wilde 1877 [more] , at p. 124.

20: [2 August 1892], GUW #03201.

Last updated: 4th June 2021 by Margaret