The collection is arranged as 1 series: Series 1: James McNeill Whistler Collection, 1863-1906, circa 1940 (Box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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 <em>The Beach at Selsey Bill</em>, and a 1906 copy of <em>Wilde v. Whistler: being an acromonious correspondence on art between Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler</em>, a pamphlet containing letters originally published in London newspapers between 1885 and 1890.
James McNeill Whistler collection, 1863-1906. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
This site provides access to the James McNeill Whistler collection in the Archives of American Art that was digitized in 2011. The collection has been scanned in entirety, and totals 243 images.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
The James McNeill Whistler collection is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
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).
London-based painter and etcher, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and lived in St. Petersburg and London as a child before returning to the United States on the death of his father in 1849. After a failed attempt at a military career at West Point from 1851-1853, he worked as a draftsman for the Coast Survey from 1854-1855 where he received technical instruction in etching. Whistler then left for Paris and remained an expatriot for the rest of his life, living alternately in Paris and London. He studied briefly in Paris at the Ecole Impériale, but was influenced more heavily by his own studies of the great masters and his contemporaries, including Henri Fantin-Latour, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Courbet, and Edouard Manet.
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