Jo's Bent Head

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 88
Date: 1861
Medium: drypoint
Size: 226 x 152 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 25
Catalogues: K.78; M.78
Impressions taken from this plate  (25)


Jo's Bent Head was not published.


No exhibitions are recorded in Whistler's lifetime, though an impression may have been on view with H. Wunderlich & Co. in 1898, when one was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780204). Two prints were shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, described in the catalogue as 'Impression clean wiped' and 'Another impression richly printed. A few additional lines below.' Freer lent an impression for this show, likely the latter of the two judging by the description of additional lines (or scratches). 7 Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780214) and W. H. Bustin (fl. 1958wn) lent impressions to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in Boston in the same year. 8 Finally, in 1905 Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) lent one to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780210). 9

7: New York 1904a (cat. no. 66a, b).

8: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 58).

9: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 78).


There are no references to sales of this drypoint. However it is possible that sales might have been confused with those of Jo [87].
Among early collectors, Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) owned a first state, which must have been returned to Whistler, because it was annotated 'Jo.' and signed with a butterfly about 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780z04).
Impressions of all three states were owned by Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), who may have eventually acquired and printed the copper plate (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780101, Graphic with a link to impression #K0780210). One of these was also owned by Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) and was later bequeathed by Margaret Selkirk Watson Parker (1867-1936) to the University of Michigan Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780210). Mrs Parker also acquired another impression originally from the important collection of Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780211). Menpes also gave an impression to the British Museum in 1920 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780205).
Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) owned an impression of the third state printed in brown ink on ivory laid paper with a fleur-de-lys watermark, which was sold through Wunderlich & Co., to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) on 9 November 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780204).
Later collectors include Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971), who acquired another third state, this being printed in dark brown ink, with soft burr (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780208). Another impression, with subtle use of plate tone, came comparatively recently (1962) to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K0780302).