It was said to have been owned by Ross Winans (1795-1877), whose sister Julia married Whistler's half-brother George William Whistler (1822-1869), but this is not possible since it was not painted until 1884. It could however have been owned by Ross Winans Whistler, the son of G. W. Whistler and Julia de Kay Winans, and inherited by his son, Ross Theodore Whistler. The latter lent it to an exhibition in Boston in 1934. It was inherited by his first wife Mary Vinton Murray (Mrs Mary Murray Whistler) probably before or at the time of his second marriage in 1935, and was sold at auction in 1979.
The Glasgow Herald, on 10 June 1884, commended it as 'excellent and delicate'.
In 1887 'A Grey Note' was described in the Globe as 'a sea-coast [study] of miniature size'. 1
1: Globe, 29 November 1887 (press cutting in GUL Whistler PC 9, p. 17).
Last updated: 11th November 2020 by Margaret