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


William Semple

Nationality: American
Date of birth: 17 September 1881
Date of death: 15 September 1962
Place of death: Ohio
Category: collector, classicist


William Semple was an assistant professor in the classics department at the University of Cincinnati: he was head of the department from 1920-1959. He married Anna Louise Taft (1879-1961).


Whistler's A Girl by a Shelf y048 was bought in 1940 by William Semple and his wife, Anna Louise Taft Semple. She bequeathed it to the Taft Museum of Art, , Cincinnati, which had been lavishly supported and endowed by her family.


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer, and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980 .

'The Taft Influence', UC Magazine, University of Cincinnati website. 'Department of Classics', website.