Children, Portsmouth

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 301
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 67 x 99 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 6
Catalogues: K.323; M.311
Impressions taken from this plate  (6)


Although not published officially, Portsmouth, Children is related to the 'Jubilee Set'.


It was seen first in print dealers' shows, at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903 and at Obach & Co. in London in 1903. 9

It was shown after Whistler's death in the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York in 1904, and at the Memorial Exhibitions in Paris and, lent by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908), in London, in 1905. 10

9: New York 1898 (cat. no. 228); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

10: New York 1904a (cat. no. 259); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 275).


The first sale of 'Portsmouth, Children' recorded by Whistler was to the London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832), on 20 August 1887 for £7.7.0. Another was offered to William Craibe Angus (1830-1899) in Glasgow on 16 December 1887. 11

H. Wunderlich & Co. of New York forwarded one impression to Ross Revillon Winans (1850-1912) at a price of £7.7.0 in 1888; they also recorded a sale at only £5.5.0. 12

11: GUW #13089; 16 December 1887, #01959.

12: Wunderlich's to Whistler, 3. May 1888, GUW #07158, 24 March 1899, #07305.

Although it was rare - or perhaps because it was rare - the few surviving impressions were given or bequeathed to major public collections. Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression from Obach & Co. in London in 1902 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3230103) which went with his bequest to the Freer Gallery of Art. A single impression remained in Whistler's estate and was bequeathed to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) in 1903, and by her to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #). One owned by Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) was sold through H. Wunderlich & Co. and apparently owned by Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) and by Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935), before being acquired by Albert Henry Wiggin (1868-1951) for Boston Public Library (Graphic with a link to impression #K3230106). Harry Brisbane Dick (1855-1916) owned one that was bought with the Dick Fund for Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Finally, Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) gave an impression to Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), which was sold through A.A. Hahlo & Co. to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and passed by family descent to Robert N. Whittemore (Yale Class of 1943) who gave it to the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2002 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3230105).