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


Marcus Bourne Huish

Nationality: English
Date of birth: 25 November 1843
Place of birth: Castle Donington
Date of death: 4 May 1921
Place of death: 21 Essex Villas, Kensington, London
Category: art dealer


Marcus Bourne Huish was a barrister, writer and art dealer, the son of Marcus Huish of Castle Donington, Leicestershire. He married Catherine Sarah Winslow. Their daughter Margaret Dorothy Huish was born in 1879.


Husih was called to the bar in 1867 but seems to have abandoned his legal career for the art trade. From 1879-1911 he was Director of the Fine Art Society, with Ernest Brown as his assistant manager. For 12 years he was also editor of Art Journal.

In September 1879, after Whistler's bankruptcy, the Fine Art Society commissioned Whistler to travel to Venice to complete twelve etchings. Whistler stayed for over a year, making fifty etchings and over ninety pastels. On Whistler's return in 1880, he rented rooms at 65 Regent Street from the Society to print the Venice etchings, twelve of which were exhibited in December 1880. Fifty-three pastels were exhibited the next year, in 1881 The private view of an exhibition of venetian etchings in 1883, was accompanied by a catalogue, wherein each entry was followed by a quotation from earlier criticisms. In 1895, Whistler held an exhibition of lithographs at the Society.

Huish was himself a watercolourist and the chairman of the Japan Society. He was a Chevalier of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, and was made a Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy for his part in organising the British section at the Venice Biennale. The Huishes lived at 21 Essex Villas, Kensington.


Foster, Joseph, Men at the Bar, London, 1885; Who's Who, 1898, London, 1898.

Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonné, University of Glasgow, 2012, online website.