The early provenance is uncertain. In 1914 L. Earle Rowe (d. 1937), Director of Rhode Island School of Design, stated that this painting was given by Whistler to his half-sister, Deborah Delano Haden (1825-1908), and seen in her collection by John James Cowan (1846-1936), Edinburgh, who persuaded Whistler to give her another painting in its place so that he could buy it, after which 'it remained [in Cowan's collection] for a number of years until it lately came to America.' 1
However, Whistler did not mention it in his correspondence with J. J. Cowan or with Deborah Haden and the history of Harmony in Blue: The Duet [YMSM 196] after 1878 is therefore unsubstantiated until its appearance in 1914.
It was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime.
Last updated: 12th November 2019 by Margaret