Battersea Reach


9 July - 31 October 2021
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free - book tickets

Whistler: Art and Legacy is a major new exhibition from The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, home to one of the world’s best collections of the work of American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).

Showcasing the collection's strength and richness, Whistler: Art and Legacy explores the development of Whistler’s artistic practice and the role that Glasgow played in supporting him, and in forming his artistic legacy.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA, Whistler spent his working life in Britain and France. From a family of soldiers and engineers, he studied topography at United States Military Academy, West Point as an officer cadet that would have led to a career in the military and the railroad industry. This formative training and sympathy for technology shaped his work, together with an enduring interest in light and weather and its effects on the urban landscape.

The University of Glasgow houses one of the world’s pre-eminent collections of Whistler’s art. Gifted by Whistler’s executrix Rosalind Birnie Philip between 1935 and 1958, it includes some 80 oil paintings; 220 drawings, watercolours and pastels; 150 lithographs and 390 etchings, together with his private papers and the contents of his studio.

Whilst works from the collection have been lent to museum exhibitions across the world, a major portion, gifted in 1935, cannot be lent. The exhibition probes this lesser-known corner of the collection alongside other aspects of Whistler’s life and art. It also examines his artistic legacy which has been carried forward by University of Glasgow researchers over the last few decades through major digital and technical art history projects.

Admission to Whistler: Art and Legacy is included in our Hunterian Art Gallery General Admission ticket.

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