James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903)

19th Century American Painting

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Nocturne Palaces
"Whistler's immense graphic talents influenced American style: he led a number of Americans to a new attitude about art, to a new view of etching and lithography, and to a 'new' medium, the pastel. If he was not an Impressionist-and in any strict sense he surely was not-he nonetheless led others toward an impressionistic style. Economy of means was always important for him, and even his critics recognized that his 'audacity is based on directness and simplicity of color.' American artists had been moving toward the subjective, the expressive, incisive strokes. And watercolor for Whistler was the most evanescent of mediums: his small sketches are literally impressions, with a few strokes of a wet brush conveying the most delicate moods of nature."

quotation from Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Master Drawings and Watercolors, Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 1976

Selected Permanent Collections:

Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey
Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, Texas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, R.I.
Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut



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