Longshore men

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 52
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 153 x 225 mm
Signed: 'Whistler - ' at lower right
Inscribed: '1859 -' at lower right
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 37
Catalogues: K.45; M.44; T.45; W.43
Impressions taken from this plate  (37)


Longshore Men was never published.


An impression from the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) was shown in a travelling exhibition in Liverpool and elsewhere in 1874 (probably Graphic with a link to impression #K0450104). Whistler included another in his own one-man exhibition in the same year. 20 An impression was shown to connoisseurs at the Union League Club in New York in 1881, lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450135). 21

It was exhibited in prestigious international exhibitions in Chicago (the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893) and Leipzig (1895). 22 It was for sale in print dealers' shows, particularly those of H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York (1898 and 1903) and Obach & Co. in London in 1903. Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression from Wunderlich's in 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450105). 23 At the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, one impression was lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450102) and another, described as a 'Very early proof', originally from the collections of J.A. Rose and William Drake (1817-1890), was lent by Freer (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450104). 24 Freer's rival collector, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), lent his impression to the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1902 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450102). 25

After Whistler's death, it was shown in several Memorial Exhibitions including the Copley Society show in Boston in 1904, lent by Mansfield (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450102) and the 1905 London show, lent by King Edward VII (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450103). 26 The latter was then sold in the following year through Wunderlich's to Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450103).

20: Liverpool 1874 (cat. no. 488); London Pall Mall 1874 (cat. no. 43).

21: New York 1881 (cat. no. 63).


23: New York 1898 (cat. no. 40); New York 1903b (cat. no. 37); London Obach 1903 (cat. no. 51).

24: Chicago 1900 (cat. nos. 41, 41a).

25: Philadelphia 1902. See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

26: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 37); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 43).


The British Museum bought an impression from Percy Thomas (1846-1922) on 13 July 1872 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450111). 27 Ten years later, in 1882, a huge group of prints by various artists was sold by Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) to the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, including an impression of 'Matrosenkneipe' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450132). These were the earliest public collections to acquire impressions.

27: B.M. Print Room Register of Purchases ..., 1872.

Early collectors included Alfred Beurdeley (1847-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450121); George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450108), Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450109) and Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450135). Later, they were joined by major American collectors such as George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450123), Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450102) and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919). Wunderlich's of New York sold two impressions to Freer, one from the collections of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) and William Drake (1817-1890), in 1890 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450104) and another, originally from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), in 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450105).
During Whistler's life time, sales at auction brought low prices. Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst bought one for £2.3.0 from the collection of George William Reid (1819-1887) in 1890 and another for £2.0.0 in 1892 after the death of Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891). 28

28: Sotheby's, 28 February 1890 (lot 480), and 3 March 1892 (lot 93).

Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. acted as dealer, collector and donor. He bought an impression on Japanese paper at the sale of the collection of William Drake (1817-1890) 29 and bequeathed one to Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1913, as part of the 'Frederick Keppel Memorial' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0450127). Similarly, David Keppel gave an impression to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1917. It seems likely that Keppel owned the copper plate and had additional impressions printed.

29: Christie's, 8 March 1892 (lot 316) £3.5.0.