The Unsafe Tenement

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 18
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 158 x 226 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.' at lower left (2-3); erased (4)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 76
Catalogues: K.17; M.17; T.5; W.7
Impressions taken from this plate  (76)
The copper plate has not been located. It is exactly the same size as Sketch of Houses [15].
The Unsafe Tenement is one of the few plates from the 'French Set' that was not acquired by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), and it seems likely that it was re-printed. Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) listed the fourth state, in 1910, saying that it was printed 'recently'. 12 This would account for the presence of some 15 impressions of the fourth state in public collections (e.g. Graphic with a link to impression #K0170402).

12: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 17).

The most likely print dealer to have acquired the plate was Frederick Keppel (1845-1912), and the earliest recorded reference, apart from Kennedy's, to this state is in 1917, when Keppel's brother, David, gave an impression to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K0170404).