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


Murray Marks

Nationality: English
Date of birth: 1840
Date of death: 1918.05.06
Place of death: 75 Marine Parade, Brighton
Category: art dealer


Murray Marks, dealer in oriental art. His executrix was Phoebe Marks, spinster.


Dealer in oriental art and friend of artists, including Whistler, Rossetti, Sandys and Leighton. With Durlacher, Marks had a shop at 395 Oxford Street which was from 1875 a focus for oriental enthusiasts, including Whistler, Rossetti and Sir Henry Thompson. According to Williamson, Marks' trade card was designed by Rossetti with help from William Morris and Whistler. However, it is more likely that Whistler advised on the selection of Chinese ornaments than that he joined an already formidable team of designers (Williamson, 1919, pp. 14-5, repr. facing p. 14 as 'Trade Card Designed for Murray Marks'). Murray Marks helped Thompson buy porcelain and catalogued his collection and it was at Marks's suggestion, in 1876, that Whistler was asked to illustrate the catalogue, while Marks wrote the preface and catalogue entries for an exhibition (see Studies of blue and white porcelain m0592). The porcelain (339 pieces), the catalogue, and the drawings for the catalogue, were exhibited in Marks' shop and the private view was held on 30 April 1878


Williamson, George Charles, Murray Marks and his Friends, London and New York, 1919 ; Annual Register, 1918, p. 177; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995 .