The Storm

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 81
Date: 1861
Medium: drypoint
Size: 156 x 286 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: '1861.' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 36
Catalogues: K.81; M.83; T.74; W.77
Impressions taken from this plate  (36)


It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.


It was first exhibited in Whistler's first one-man exhibition in London in 1874 (cat. no. 1) as 'The Storm.' In the same year it was included in a touring exhibition of the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890). 9 An impression owned by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) was lent to a show at the Union League Club Club in New York in 1881 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810212). 10

The Storm was among etchings selected for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), 11 who also lent his own impression of The Storm to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in Boston in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810110). One was also exhibited by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810202). 12

In addition, impressions appeared for sale in two print dealer's shows, at H. Wunderlich & Co. in 1898 and 1903. 13

9: Liverpool 1874 (cat. no. 525). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

10: New York 1881 (cat. no. 106).

11: Mansfield to Whistler, 10 January 1893, GUW #04000.

12: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 72).

13: New York 1898 (cat. no. 73); New York 1903b (cat. no. 63).

Impressions were exhibited in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death, at the Grolier Club in New York and by the Copley Society in Boston in 1904, as well as in Paris and London in 1905. An impression was lent to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London by King Edward VII. 14

14: New York 1904a (cat. no. 80); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 63);Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 325); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 77).


Whistler sold one impression at £3.3.0 to William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916) in 1875. 15 Prices crept gently upwards. Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) appears to have sold one or two impressions to the London print dealer Jane Noseda (b. 1813 or 1814) in 1877 and in the following year Whistler sold another direct to a patron, Alfred Chapman (1839-1917) for £5.5.0. 16

One of the earliest impressions was inscribed 'A mon ami Delâtre / Whistler' and given by the artist to Auguste Delâtre (1822-1907) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810105). It was then acquired by Philippe Burty (1830-1890) before being sold at Sotheby's on 27 April 1876 (lot 930) and bought by the British Museum. The Museum acquired a set of the cancelled etchings (including Graphic with a link to impression #K0810207) in 1887.

Several print dealers bought impressions at auctions. An individual impression was sold at Christie's on 8-9 March 1892 (lot 310) for £6.0.0, bought by Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst. A cancelled set of etchings, sold with the collection of Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) at Sotheby's on 13 December 1889 (lot 787 or 789) was bought by Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), for £0.6.0. This set (including Graphic with a link to impression #K0810203), was acquired by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) and bequeathed to the University of Glasgow, 1958.

15: [March/April 1875?], GUW #07573.

16: [16/21 November 1877], GUW #12740; 9 August 1878, #07966.

H. Wunderlich & Co., New York bought the copper plate from Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) in 1889 and had it restored and printed. Thus they were selling both cancelled and restored impressions, and Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) noted over 40 owners of impressions of The Storm, among them Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935), John Caldwell (fl. 1887-1907) and Walter Steuben Carter (1824-1904). Impressions from the new edition were also acquired by the trade, including the Anderson Galleries on Park Avenue, the American Art Association, and Obach & Co. 17

In 1898 Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought a unique proof of the first state that originally came from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), from Wunderlich's (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810104). He also acquired a second state from the same dealers in August 1891 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810103) and a cancelled set (published by the Fine Art Society) in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0810204).

17: Kennedy Ledgers, Colby College of Art.