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The study of Whistler’s etchings have been transformed by the work undertaken by Margaret MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock at the University of Glasgow, now available online. As Edward Kennedy’s catalogue published in 1910 made use of the latest technology to produce reproductions of the highest quality of every state of every known etching by Whistler, so Glasgow’s catalogue has done the same and makes it available through the internet. The catalogue entries record a wealth of information about the prints, their subjects, their history and collections: I have found it invaluable in preparing this catalogue.

Equally ambitious and ground-breaking, is The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, the work of Harriet K. Stratis, Martha Tedeschi, Nesta R. Spink, Katharine Lochnan and Britt Salvesen, published by the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. I am indebted to the authors for their definitive study which has superceded T. R. Way’s catalogue raisonné and provides the fruits of many years of research which I have drawn on in writing my own entries.

Margaret MacDonald has been at the forefront of research into Whistler and all aspects of his work since before the publication of The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, on which she collaborated with Andrew McClaren Young and Robin Spencer, in 1980. This was the first in a series of publications by a new generation of Whistler scholars which has stimulated continuing interest in the artist, perhaps the most distinguished to have had exhibitions at The Fine Art Society. I am grateful for Margaret’s enthusiastic help, advice, encouragement and friendship over many years. I have been fortunate to share with her, Meg Hausberg and many others a love of and fascination for Whistler and his work.

If there is a single work which has inspired my interest in Whistler more than any other it is Katharine Lochnan’s The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler, published in 1984 on the occasion of an exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth, staged at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Her insights into the artist and his work seem as valid and revealing today as they were nearly thirty years ago.

Whistler fans are an extensive band and I am pleased to record my gratitude to the following who, among many others, have helped me over thirty-five years in my understanding of Whistler’s work: Peter Black, Mungo Campbell, David Park Curry, Richard Dorment, Ruth Fine, Alastair Grieve, Meg Hausberg, David Kiehl, Katharine Lochnan, Margaret MacDonald, Kenneth Myers, Pamela Robertson, Robin Spencer, Nesta Spink, Martha Tedeschi, Nigel Thorp, Roberta Waddell and those who have worked at the Hunterian Art Gallery and the Centre for Whistler Studies.


Whistler on the Thames. London: The Fine Art Society, 2013. p. 45.

drawings by Whistler

Last modified 21 May 2014