Gray's Inn Place

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 281
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 127 x 177 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 6
Catalogues: K.297; M.292
Impressions taken from this plate  (6)


Grey's Inn Place was not published. However, it forms one of Whistler's unpublished but clearly defined 'Grey's Inn Set'.


H. Wunderlich & Co., New York print dealers, exhibited impressions in 1898 and 1903. Both Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) lent impressions to a show organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970203 and Graphic with a link to impression #K2970204) 7

After Whistler's death, it was shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904. Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent to the Whistler Memorial show in Boston in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970101) and John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) to the London Memorial Exhibition in 1905. 8

7: Chicago 1900 (cat. nos. 245, 245a); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

8: New York 1904a (cat. no. 307); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 201); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 285 ).


Three print dealers predominate in sales of this etching. Whistler sold impressions on 17 November 1888 and 16 February 1889 to Messrs Dowdeswell at £8.8.0 each. 9 Likewise, he sold impressions on 18 December 1888 and 11 April 1889 to the Fine Art Society, London, at the same price. 10 Then he sold impressions in 1889, 1897 and 1899 to H. Wunderlich & Co., again at £8.8.0 each. 11

It did not get near this price at auction. An impression from the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) was bought at Sotheby's, 3 March 1892 (lot 336) by Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) of Deprez & Gutekunst for £2.15.0.

9: GUW #13028, #13031.

10: GUW #12999, NB.1, p. 8.

11: 16 April 1889, GUW #13055; September 1897, GUW #07287; 24 March 1899, #07305.

Collectors included Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970101) and Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970102), who bought impressions of the first state; Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), whose etching was inscribed by the artist 'Specially chosen. /1st. State' but is actually the second state (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970204); Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970203); and W. H. Bustin (fl. 1958wn), whose impression is inscribed 'No. 3' (Graphic with a link to impression #K2970205). Benedict's first state was later bought by William P. Chapman, jr, who bequeathed it to Cornell University; he valued it at $585.00 and noted, quite rightly, it was 'rare'. 12

12: Archives of Cornell University Art Gallery.