Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 173
Date: 1877
Medium: drypoint
Size: 151 x 227 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 25
Catalogues: K.165; M.161; W.135
Impressions taken from this plate  (25)


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


The first recorded exhibition was with a print dealer, at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898. 13 Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent an impression to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650403), and to the Annual Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1902. 14

Following Whistler's death, impressions appeared in the major Memorial Exhibitions including one impression at the Grolier Club, New York, and two different states in the Copley Society show in Boston, both in 1904. Another impression was shown at the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 15

13: New York 1898 (cat. no. 114).

14: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 119); Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

15: New York 1904a (cat. no. 137);Boston 1904 (cat. no. 101, 102);London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 135).


Whistler sold three impressions of 'Greenhithe' in 1877 for £6.6.0. each: one to Messrs Hogarth, one to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) (possibly for Jane Noseda (b. 1813 or 1814)), and one to the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. 16 The latter may have been the impression lent by Princess Victoria to the Whistler Memorial exhibition in 1905. 17

In 1887 Whistler sold one for £12.12.0 - twice the original price - to the London print dealer Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832). This is a startling increase and may reflect a particularly good impression, or really effective salesmanship. 18

Impressions marked '3' and '8' were owned by Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935), followed by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971), who gave them to the National Gallery of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650203, Graphic with a link to impression #K1650402). Confusingly, Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) also owned one marked '3' (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650204), which passed to the New York Public Library. Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an early impression in 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650103). Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) owned one marked (definitely by Whistler) 'x 5.', and this eventually was bought for the Library of Congress (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650403).

16: 22-27 October [1877], GUW #12737; 12 October-5 November and [16/21] November [1877], #12735 and #12740; [19/22 October 1877], #12736.

17: New York 1904a (cat. no. 137); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 135).

18: 17 May 1887, GUW #13011.

A dozen sets of the Cancelled Etchings are in public collections; they include ones acquired by George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650506), by the British Museum in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650507), by Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907), also in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650512), by Freer in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650502), and by the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1650510).