Railway Arch, American Square

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 316
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 70 x 163 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.268; M.264; W.218
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


It was never published.


Impressions were exhibited in New York by the print dealers H. Wunderlich & Co. in 1898 and 1903, and one of these was probably that bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680204). 11 Another impression - possibly also bought from Wunderlich's - was lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680203). 12

After Whistler's death, an impression was shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, probably lent by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680204) and John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) lent one to the Whistler Memorial exhibition in London. 13

11: New York 1898 (cat. no. 211); New York 1903b (cat. no. 176).

12: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 188). see REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

13: New York 1904a (cat. no. 227); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 218).


The etching was sold by Whistler for £8.8.0. The first sales were to the London print dealers, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832) and Messrs Dowdeswell on 29 August 1887. 14 Dowdeswell's bought more in February 1888. 15

At auction it fetched a derisory amount - only £0.15.0 at the sale of the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) at Sotheby’s, 3 March 1892 (lot 327), bought by Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co.

14: GUW #13013.

15: 1 and 10 February 1888, GUW #00900, #13027.

Whistler also sold an impression in a consignment forwarded by Wunderlich's of New York to Ross Revillon Winans (1850-1912) on 3 May 1888. 16 Another impression (unusually given its full title 'Railway arch. American Square') was recorded by Whistler as sold to Wunderlich's at some time in early 1894, but this is not confirmed in the Wunderlich records. However, one was confirmed as sold to the same firm for £5.5.0 (including their discount, since they operated as Whistler's chief U.S. agents) on 24 March 1899. 17

16: GUW #07158.

17: GUW #07271, #07305.

Another slight discrepancy occurred when 'Railway Arch' was listed as No. 179 in a 'Report of Sales for 1901' sold by H. Wunderlich & Co. for £5.5.0. 18 This is odd because an etching with the number '#179' written on the verso was recorded as bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) from Wunderlich's on 20 March 1903 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680204).

18: 16 April 1901, GUW #07330.

Collectors included Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) and Emma Regina Martin (1921-2009) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680z01); Atherton Curtis (1863-1944) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680104); John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) and Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680202); Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680203); Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680102). Freer also bought another from Wunderlich's (Graphic with a link to impression #K2680204).