The Dam Wood

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 133
Date: 1874/1875
Medium: drypoint
Size: 177 x 113 mm
Signed: butterfly at right (3-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 11
Catalogues: K.145; M.143; W.120
Impressions taken from this plate  (11)


It was not published.


The Dam Wood was first exhibited at the Union League Club in New York in 1881, lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450106). 9 Impressions were lent by both Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450302) and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450102) to a show organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900. 10 An impression was among a large group by Whistler lent by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1902 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450306). 11

Impressions also appeared in print dealer's shows, at H. Wunderlich & Co. New York, in 1898 and 1903, at Obach & Co. in London in 1903, and at F. Keppel & Co. in New York in 1904. 12

Finally, after Whistler's death, impressions were exhibited at the Whistler Memorial Exhibitions in Boston in 1904 and in London and Paris in 1905. 13

9: New York 1881 (cat. no. 139).

10: Chicago 1900 (cat. nos. 108 and 108a).

11: Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947).

12: New York 1898 (cat. no. 103); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

13: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 91); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 120); Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 341).


In October-November 1877 Whistler sold impressions to the London print dealer, Hogarth, and to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890), for £2.2.0 each. 14

The price had doubled by 1886, when Whistler sold one to another London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832), and in 1887, to Messrs Dowdeswell, and in 1893, to the Fine Art Society, for £4.4.0 each. 15

The impression sold to Dowedeswell may have been bought by Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891), and sold at auction after his death, when Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst bought it for £4.0.0. 16 This was bought for the Royal Collection, and sold in 1906 through Agnew's, Wunderlich's and Obach's in turn, eventually being bought by Margaret Selkirk Watson Parker (1867-1936) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450105).

In the summer of 1897, and again in 1900, Whistler sold a single impression to H. Wunderlich & Co. for a few dollars more, £6.6.0. 17 Wunderlich's sold a first state impression to Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450102, stock nos. 9104 and 41274), which was later acquired by the Library of Congress.

14: 22-27 October 1877, GUW #12737; 12 October-5 November 1877, #12735.

15: 1 November 1886, GUW #13010; 28 April 1887, #13020; FAS to Whistler, 18 April 1893, #01259.

16: Sotheby's, 3 March 1892 (lot 200).

17: Wunderlich's to Whistler, September 1897, GUW #07287; 6 April 1900, #07322.

Early British collectors included John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450102); James Guthrie Orchar (1825-1888) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450z01) and Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450201). American collectors included Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), who bought it in the mid-1870s (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450106); Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450202) and Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450302), whose prints went to the Art Institute of Chicago; Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) and Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450306). Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought impressions of the first (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450102) and third (Graphic with a link to impression #K1450303) states - the first from Sir John Day's collection - from Obach & Co. in 1906.