James McNeill Whistler Papers Now Available Digitally


The James McNeill Whistler collection (1863–1906, ca. 1940) at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art is now available online, having been digitized in its entirety in 2012.

The 307 images online include various documents pertaining to the career of Whistler, who was born in the US but worked in London. There are:

39 items from Whistler to various recipients, including 25 letters, 9 telegraphs, 3 invitations, one thank you card and a postcard. The collection also contains 4 letters from others, 7 catalogs of Whistler exhibitions, a note from the back of Whistler’s painting The Beach at Selsey Bill, and a 1906 copy of Wilde v. Whistler: being an acromonious correspondence on art between Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler, a pamphlet containing letters originally published in London newspapers between 1885 and 1890.

Several of the items in the collection are signed with Whistler’s butterfly mark. To view digital images from the archive, or to find out more, visit the James McNeill Whistler Collection.

Image source: James McNeill Whistler collection, 1863-1906, circa 1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.