Lady Lever – WHISTLER: The Gentle Art of Making Etchings

imageWHISTLER: The Gentle Art of Making Etchings
3 July – 20 September 2009

A fascinating exhibition gives remarkable insights into the etchings of American artist James McNeill Whistler, one of the greatest exponents of the art form. The exhibition features about 50 exquisite works drawn from the University of Glasgow’s world-famous Whistler collection.

Although now best known as a painter, Whistler’s reputation was originally founded on his skills as an etcher. During his career he produced some of the most technically innovative and beautiful etchings of his day.

Whistler (1834 – 1903) found much of his inspiration on the streets and waterways of London, Venice and Amsterdam. He also came to Liverpool and several times visited Speke Hall, the half-timbered country home of his ship-owning patron Frederick R Leyland.

In 1870 Whistler made an etching of Mrs Leyland standing in the driveway in front of the mansion. This image was created when Whistler’s interest in etching was renewed and shows the influence of Japanese prints.

The exhibition includes artworks from the period 1854 to 1893 and looks at Whistler’s etching techniques. Some feature the Naval Review which celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. Here Whistler made a number of etchings – many executed from a boat on the Thames.

The exhibition has been organised by the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow.

Venue details

The Doorway – etching and drypoint, 1879-1880.
All artworks by James McNeill Whistler.
All images © The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow.