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The Plates

The copper plates have been measured, maker's marks and other markes recorded, and comparisons between different plates, dates, size and makers, are discussed. Their current whereabouts is given. Most are in the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Whistler used thin milled copper plates for his etchings and drypoints. Many of these were made by Hughes & Kimber, London, but some by Maire and other makers in Paris and Venice. Most are machine made but some- mainly the Venetian plates- were made by local craftsmen.
Many late copper plates were in Whistler's studio at his death and were bequeathed to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who gave them to the University of Glasgow in 1935. Most of them were cancelled with a diagonal line, and lacquered to preserve them. She inherited some plates from which no impression is known, and she also acquired a number of cancelled plates, all of which came to the University Whistler Collection.
These have all been digitally scanned and images have been digitally produced to show what an impression from the cancelled plate would look like, and these images- both of the plate itself and a virtual image- are included in the catalogue.
Impression: E100201
Head of Whistler [318]
Etching: PE10_01 (plate)
Copper plate with Head of Whistler.



  • Getscher, Robert Harold, Whistler and Venice, Ph.D. dissertation, Case Western University, Cleveland, 1970
  • Lochnan, Katharine A., The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1984
  • Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, 2009