Author Archives: mfmmacdonald

About mfmmacdonald

I am an artist and art historian, and my research is focussed on the work and life of James McNeill Whistler. Based in the School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow, I am Director of the Whistler Paintings and Etchings Projects. These blogs are informal, and, I hope, interesting and even quirky discussions of individual works and events related to Whistler.

WHISTLER IN LIVERPOOL WITH PEACOCKS

Another Whistler exhibition is now open, at the Blue Coat gallery, during the Liverpool Biennale. Whistler spent a significant amount of time in Liverpool during the period 1870-1875, when his chief patron was the Liverpool ship-owner Frederick R. Leyland. He … Continue reading

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WHISTLER’S HAT

IN THE YEAR 1860, during the reign of Queen Victoria, the expatriate American, James McNeill Whistler, sat down by the London docks to sketch a crowd on a ferry boat. The result, a small etching called Penny Passengers, Limehouse is one … Continue reading

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THE LIFE, DEATH AND LIFE OF A ROOM

  J.McN. Whistler: The Peacock Room, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC The Liverpool shipping magnate Frederick R. Leyland gave Whistler permission to modify certain details in the dining room at 49  Princes’ Gate, his London home.  What emerged was … Continue reading

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WAY’s WHISTLER and WHISTLER’s WAY

One of the pleasures of curating an exhibition is selecting and presenting great works of art: another is meeting lots of interesting people. At Dulwich Picture Gallery I had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte Way, relative of Whistler’s lithographic printers Thomas … Continue reading

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A FLIGHT OF WHISTLER BUTTERFLIES

In 1869, Whistler made a large and elaborate drawing of a nude figure, which was intended to be transferred to canvas, a decorative scheme that was never completed. However, the drawing or cartoon, is now in the Freer Gallery of Art, and … Continue reading

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WHISTLER’S GHOSTS: Margaret MacDonald and Nadine Loach

Whistler’s oil paintings of the Thames, combining closely observed realistic views, expressive brushwork and atmospheric colour, reward close examination. However, they can also conceal surprises, the ghostly records of earlier work. Xrays of two paintings by Whistler have resulted in a remarkable discovery. The … Continue reading

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WHISTLER IN SNOW

An American in London: Whistler and the Thames has had 30,000 visitors in the 11 weeks since it opened at Dulwich Picture Gallery! The run finishes there on Sunday, 12 January 2014. It will probably be rather busy, so get … Continue reading

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AN AMERICAN IN LONDON?

Any exhibition brings out a wide range of people with varying interests. At Dulwich Picture Gallery, the visitors to An American in London: Whistler and the Thames include locals from  south of the river,  Battersea to Bermondsey,  others from foreign … Continue reading

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WHISTLER’S MEN AND WOMEN

Detail of Wapping, 1860-1864, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC Of the man and women who participate in Whistler’s Thames pictures and prints, we know little, yet they are nearly always distinctive figures, characterised by sex, pose, … Continue reading

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Whistler and the Thames: Personal glimpses

Price’s Candle Factory, 1876/1877, drypoint (G.166. state 3/13) National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (1943.3.8486) WHILE we were hanging the Whistler exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, the local curators and technicians enjoyed identifying sites and situations shown in Whistler’s prints … Continue reading

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