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Old Women

Impression: Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Museum of Art
Number: 234
Date: 1880
Medium: drypoint
Size: 128 x 204 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left (2-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 5
Catalogues: K.224; M.221; W.195
Impressions taken from this plate  (5)


Old Women was not published.


It was first exhibited at the Fine Art Society, London, in 1883, and at the reprise of the show in New York that same year. In the catalogue designed by Whistler for the show he added short excerpts from earlier reviews that provided ironical contrasts or complements to the prints on show. In this case, he added a very short excerpt from a piece by Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834-1894): 'He is never literary.' 8

Much later, impressions were shown by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1903, and by the Grolier Club in 1904, also in New York, and at the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 9

8: London FAS 1883 (cat. no. 29). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

9: New York 1903b (cat. no. 155); New York 1904a (cat. no. 197); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 195).


Whistler sold impressions on 28 April 1887 to the London art dealers, Messrs Dowdeswell at 4.4.0. 10 One was probably bought by Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891), and was sold after his death at auction, at Sotheby's, 3 March 1892 (lot 293) where it was bought by Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. for only 1.15.0 ().

10: GUW #13020.

American collectors included George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), who bought the '2nd Proof' () and Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), whose impression was signed by Whistler about 1886 (). Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) owned an impression that later went to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937) and Emma Regina Martin (1921-2009) () . Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought a worked proof from Obach & Co. in January 1905 ().