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

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Chelsea Shop


  • By 1901: bought by John James Cowan (1846-1936) , Edinburgh, from Alexander Reid (1854-1928) , Glasgow art dealer.
  • 1907: sold by A. Reid to James Gardner Shepherd (1867-1935) , Scranton, PA, in December 1907.
  • 1914: with Knoedler's, New York dealers.
  • 1916: bought from Scott & Fowles, New York dealers, by Rhode Island School of Design, on 13 December 1916.

It was bought by J. J. Cowan, Edinburgh, from Alexander Reid, and identified by Whistler from the description, drawing and photograph sent to him by Cowan, as "Shop front with vegetables outside[,] figure on steps in doorway to right 'Chelsea Shop' ". 1 It was probably sold by Cowan back to Reid, who sold 'The little greengrocers' to J. G. Shepherd in 1907 with Street in Brittany [YMSM 415] for £750. 2 Knoedler's exhibited it in New York in 1914 (cat. no. 7) as 'A Shop Front: The General Dealer'.


  • 1904: 78th Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1904 (cat. no. 308) as 'The General Dealer'.
  • 1905: 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. 94) as 'The General Dealer'.


1: Cowan to Whistler, 25-26 February 1901, GUW #00743, see also 27 February 1901, GUW #00744.

2: Information from A. McN. Reid, 1963, GUL.

Last updated: 19th June 2021 by Margaret