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

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Grey and Green: A River


  • 1885/1891: sold by the artist to Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907) ;
  • 1907: passed to his estate, possibly a member of the Goldschmidt family;
  • 1913: sold by Mrs B. M. Goldschmidt (fl. 1913) , to Knoedler, New York dealers, 9 November 1913;
  • 1926: sold by Knoedler's to Miss H. E. Gwell (dates unknown) , San Francisco, 29 October 1926.
  • 1972: bought from Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco, by Ira Spanierman (n/a) , New York art dealer, March 1972;
  • 1974: sold at auction, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 23 May 1974 (lot 41A), bought in;
  • 1978: sold to Davis & Long, New York dealers, December 1978;
  • 1979: sold in June to Dr John Larkin (n/a) , White Bear Lake, Minnesota;
  • 1984: bought by the Hon. Ronald Steven Lauder (b. 1944) and Mrs Lauder, née Jo Carole Knopf'.
  • 1994: Private Collection.
  • 1997: The Fine Art Society, London.
  • Date unknown: with David Findlay Jr Inc. New York.
  • 2008: Peter H. Lunder (b. 1933) and Paula Crane Lunder (b. 1935) ;
  • 2013: The Lunder Collection was given to Colby College Museum of Art.

It was probably one of two 'Marines' (with Grey and Silver: Mist - Life Boat [YMSM 287]) sold by Whistler to Otto Goldschmidt for £200, between about 1885 and 1891. 1 It was seen by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) in Goldschmidt's house in Paris in 1904 or 1905. 2

The identity of Mrs Goldschmidt is not clear (see Nocturne [YMSM 153]. After the painting was sold by Mme B. M. Goldschmidt to Knoedler's it was immediately submitted to Freer, in December 1913, but returned by him to New York. 3 Knoedler's exhibited it in 1914 (cat. no. 6) with a price of $4000. 4 It is not certain if it then remained with Knoedler's in New York until 1926, when it was sold by Knoedler's to Miss H. E. Gwell, San Francisco. At this point there is a big gap in the known provenance, partly because Miss Gwell has not been identified, although it seems the picture remained in San Francisco until it was sold by the Maxwell Galleries to Ira Spanierman in 1972.


  • 1885/1887: Possibly exhibited in The sixty-second Annual Exhibition, Society of British Artists, London, 1885 or 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 or Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1887.

It is not known when or if this painting was exhibited, though it seems extremely likely that it was. Linda Merrill suggests that it would have been seen in 1885 by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), who, on his return, painted similar scenes near New York, such as Seascape (1888, private collection). 5


1: Note by Goldschmidt; quoted by Brumbaugh 1972 [more] , p. 261.

2: n.d., Diaries, Bk 14, Freer Gallery Archives.

3: Letter, 10 January 1914, GUI. BP III 4/80.

4: Annotated catalogue in University of Michigan Museum of' Art, Ann Arbor.

5: Exhibition catalogue Atlanta, After Whistler, 2003 [more] , pp. 126-27 (cat. no. 11), and painting by Chase, pp. 158-59 (cat. no. 25), repr. p. 159.

Last updated: 4th June 2021 by Margaret