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

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Portrait of Mrs Waldo Story

Portrait of Mrs Waldo Story probably dates from between 1883 and 1884. 1

1883: Whistler wrote to the American sculptor Thomas Waldo Story (1855-1915), 'Say all that is charming for me to Mrs. Waldo Story - and let me paint her portrait for you to put in your Palazzo.' 2 They were in close contact that spring in London. In May 1883 Whistler wrote 'Waldo and his wife are of course simply charming - You will see them in London soon -' and invited them to all his Sunday breakfasts in June, as well as in July. 3

1884: The artist Jacques Émile Blanche (1861-1942) (1905) listed among works seen in Whistler's Tite Street Studio in 1884, 'Mrs Waldo Story, en rouge', but he was inclined to be imprecise in dating and descriptions, and writing in 1919 he grouped it with 'certains portraits de la série des "arrangement en noir et en brun", comme ... Mrs Waldo Story.' 4


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 251).

2: [January/February 1883], GUW #05605.

3: Whistler to J. E. C. Bodley, [2/16 May 1883], GUW #00493; Whistler to W. and A. Story, [3 June 1883], GUW #11142; A. S. Cole, 8 July 1883, diary copy, GUW #13132.

4: Blanche 1905 [more] at p. 358; Blanche 1919 [more], p. 60.

Last updated: 1st November 2019 by Margaret