Brushing the Hair

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 94
Date: 1863
Medium: drypoint
Size: 231 x 154 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: '1863.' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 17
Catalogues: K.93; M.93
Impressions taken from this plate  (17)


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


Brushing the Hair was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime, although Whistler did suggest exhibiting a ''rare proof of Jo & her sister doing her hair - "The Toilette"' at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900: 10 This 'rare proof' - indeed, a unique proof - has not been located.

10: Whistler to E.G. Kennedy, [12/15 February 1900], GUW #09799.

The first known exhibition was at the Whistler Memorial show in London in 1905, when an impression was entitled 'Two Young Girls' and lent by Messrs Ernest Brown & Phillips. 11

11: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 386). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.


Surviving impressions of Brushing the Hair are all from the albums of cancelled impressions, and many are still in the original albums. For instance, the British Museum bought an album in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0930204), and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), bought a set in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0930201). Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) owned two impressions, probably acquired at the same time as the copper plates (Graphic with a link to impression #K0930202, Graphic with a link to impression #K0930203).