A Girl on a Sofa Reading a Book


Until 31 October 2021
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free - book tickets

This display is dedicated to the art of Beatrix Birnie Philip (1857–96) and features a small selection of her oil paintings and sketches. The Art of Beatrix Whistler complements the Whistler: Art and Legacy exhibition, also on display at the Hunterian Art Gallery.

Beatrice (‘Beatrix’, ‘Trixie’, ‘Trix’, ‘Rix’) Birnie Philip was a talented artist and designer at a time when women seeking an artistic education had very limited opportunities. She trained with her father, the Scottish sculptor John Birnie Philip, then with her first husband, architect and designer EW Godwin and her second husband, the artist James McNeill Whistler. She continued to produce art throughout her lifetime, using a range of techniques and materials.

The Hunterian holds the largest single collection of Beatrix’s work including designs for tiles, stained glass and jewellery, life drawings, caricatures, watercolours, pastels and etchings bequeathed by her sister Rosalind Birnie Philip. Beatrix’s significant body of work has been consistently overshadowed and often mistaken for that of her husbands. Her surviving oil paintings and sketches are mostly small-scale, intimate studies of domestic subjects.


  • The Art of Beatrix Whistler is at the Hunterian Art Gallery until 31 October 2021.
  • Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm. Closed Monday.
  • Admission is included in our Hunterian Art Gallery General Admission ticket.

Book tickets