Thursday Talks: 02 April – James McNeill Whistler and Scotland

James McNeill Whistler and Scotland
Speaker: Prof. Margaret F. MacDonald, D.Litt.

Thursday 02 April 2020, 6pm for 6.30pm

James Whistler boasted of his Scottish ancestry, and added ‘McNeill’ to his name after his famous mother. Though based in London and Paris, he developed contacts with artists, dealers and collectors in Scotland. He exhibited at the RGI and RSA, and had loud disputes with the local press. Dealers like Alexander Reid and Craibe Angus promoted his work. J. J. Cowan of Edinburgh, Orchar of Broughty Ferry, and Glasgow’s William Burrell bought masterpieces – and sent him a brace of grouse! Scots packed the newly established International Society of Sculptors, Painter and Gravers and elected Whistler President. Artists campaigned successfully for the acquisition of his great portrait of Thomas Carlyle for the new Glasgow art gallery; Glasgow University gave him an Honorary Degree and acquired the major collection of his work. This lecture will explore connections between Whistler and the Scottish art world.

Speaker Biography:

Professor of Art History at the University of Glasgow; Artist and art historian; author and co-author of the catalogue raisonnés of Whistler’s paintings, works on paper, and etchings (online); curator of exhibitions on Whistler (The Hunterian; Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Rijksmuseum; Tate and Dulwich Art Gallery; Tretyakow Gallery, Moscow etc. Forthcoming exhibition on ‘Whistler, Courbet and the Woman in White’ (National Gallery of Art, DC, and Royal Academy, 2020-2021)

All Thursday Talks are open to the public. All Thursday Talks are £7 for members, £9 for non-members and £5 for students.

Non-members please book via eventbrite.

Image: James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter, 1872
Collection: Detroit Institute of Arts

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