Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The collection measures 0.2 linear feet and provides scattered documentation of the career of American-born, British-based painter and etcher James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) through 39 items from Whistler to various recipients, including 25 letters, 9 telegraphs, 3 invitations, one thank you card, and a postcard. The collection also contains 4 letters from others, 7 catalogs of Whistler exhibitions, a note from the back of Whistler's painting, "The Beach at Selsey Bill," and a 1906 copy of, "Wilde v. Whistler: being an acrimonious correspondence on art between Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler," a pamphlet containing letters originally published in London newspapers between 1885 and 1890.
James McNeill Whistler collection, 1863-1906, circa 1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection was digitized in its entirety in 2011 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The Archives holds several collections relating to James McNeill Whistler including the Katherine Prince collection relating to James McNeill Whistler, 1835- 1892; Edward Guthrie Kennedy papers concerning James McNeill Whistler in the New York Public Library, 1850-1902 and Selected papers concerning James McNeill Whistler in the New York Public Library, 1830-1950 (available on microfilm only, reel N25; originals reside at the New York Public Library); and James McNeill Whistler collection in the University of Glasgow, Special Collections, circa 1830-1963 (available on microfilm only, reels 4600-4611 and 4683-4699; originals reside in the Glasgow University Library, Dept. of Special Collections).
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was a painter who lived and worked in both Paris and London.
The collection was compiled from a series of accessions donated between 1959 and 2003. Most of the items in the collection were given to the Archives of American Art by Charles Feinberg in 1959. The pamphlet Wilde v. Whistler was donated by Mrs. Lois Field in 1964 and an invitation to Dr. and Mrs. Burnett was donated by Martha Fleischman in 2003.
This site provides access to the James McNeill Whistler collection in the Archives of American Art that was digitized in 2012. The collection has been scanned in entirety, and totals 307 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001