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The Long House (The Dyers, Amsterdam)

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 453
Date: 1889
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 166 x 271 mm
Signed: butterfly to upper left of centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 6
Known impressions: 14
Catalogues: K.406; M.408; W.266
Impressions taken from this plate  (14)


The Long House (The Dyers, Amsterdam) was never published. However, it is considered part of Whistler's clearly defined but unpublished 'Amsterdam Set'.


Amsterdam etchings were first shown by the print dealer, Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) in London in 1890, and at the Grolier Club in New York in the same year. 15 It was Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) who lent his set of the Amsterdam etchings to the Grolier, followed by loans to the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 and to an exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (). 16

Impressions were shown at international exhibitions, in Dresden in 1901 and 1902 (), and Philadelphia in 1902 (the latter lent by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). One appeared for sale at Obach & Co. in London in 1903. 17

After Whistler's death, impressions were shown in the comprehensive Memorial Exhibitions. One impression was shown at the Grolier Club in 1904; Mansfield lent his impression to the Copley Society show in Boston in the same year; and King Edward VII lent to the London Memorial of 1905 (). 18

15: London Dunthorne 1890.

16: New York 1890a, Chicago 1893 (cat. no. 2266 [1685]); Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 232).


18: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 193); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 266).


The Long House (The Dyers, Amsterdam) was usually sold by Whistler for £12.12.0. At this price he sold one on 17 February 1890 to the London print dealer, Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), who held the first exhibition of the Amsterdam etchings. 19

Whistler sold impressions on 4 March 1890 to two major rival collectors, to Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) for £12.12.0 (), and to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) for £15.15.0 (). 20 It is likely that this was the early state inscribed 'Chs. L. Freer' ().

19: GUW #13039; London Dunthorne 1890.

20: GUW #13047, #13065; Merrill 1995[more], p. 67 (Letter 2), GUW #01501.

On 6 March 1890 Whistler numbered several impressions before selling them. The first was acquired by the Hamburger Kunsthalle (); the second by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) (who probably bought it from one of the English dealers, Dunthorne, or the Fine Art Society) (); the fourth by H. Wunderlich' & Co., and this was also inscribed 'for Wunderlich' (); and the fifth possibly by Dowdeswell, and later by Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) (). It was sold at auction after Hutchinson's death and bought by Thomas Way (1837-1915) for £10.0.0, and Way sold it to Freer in 1905. 21

21: Sotheby’s, 3 March 1892 (lot 344).

Whistler had sold these etchings, mainly of the third state, at £12.12.0 a time, but not necessarily in the order in which they were numbered on 6 March. The first sale recorded was on 10 March 1890 to Dowdeswell's, and another on 13 March to the Fine Art Society, London. 22 Three were sold to H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York on 3 April and one on 11 August 1890; and one to Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. on 9 April. 23

22: GUW #00916; #13002.

23: B. Whistler to Wunderlich's, [3 April 1890], #06585; 19 September 1890, GUW #13059; #13064.

On 2 July 1890 the South Kensington Museum bought one impression direct from Whistler (they actually returned others but kept this). 24 The Royal Collection, Windsor, acquired one, possibly at this time (), and this was sold in 1906 through the London art dealers, Agnew's to Wunderlich's in New York, and bought by Albert W. Scholle (1860-1917).

24: GUW #13044.

Sales continued in 1891, with Whistler selling impressions to Deprez & Gutekunst on 21 January and 26 June at £12.12.0 each, and a '1st proof' on 6 April to Wunderlich's at £15.15.0. 25 The latter went to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and was later acquired by the Library of Congress ().

The next sale recorded by Whistler was on 19 May 1897 to Siegfried Bing (1838-1905), still at the old price of £12.12.0. 26 Finally in 1901 Whistler sold eight etchings (including ) and a lithograph to the Königl. Kupferstichkabinett Dresden at £50.0.0 for the lot. 27 The Hamburger Kunsthalle also acquired a fine, inscribed, impression ().

Early collectors included John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) and Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) (); George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914) (); Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937) (); Albert Henry Wiggin (1868-1951) (); William P. Chapman, Jr (); Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) and Claude Wampler (1895) (); and Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) ().

25: GUW #13070, #13070; #13097.

26: GUW #13034.

27: GUW #05204, E. R. Bankgeschäft to Whistler, money order; GUW #00947.