James McNeill Whistler
Balcony, Amsterdam, 1889
Etching and drypoint
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1954/1.405

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On Beauty and the Everyday: The Prints of James McNeill Whistler

August 21–November 28, 2010

UMMA’s rare and important collection of works on paper by James McNeill Whistler represents one of the finest holdings of Whistler’s graphic output in North America. This exhibition will feature nearly 100 works of art from UMMA’s extraordinary Whistler collection, which covers the artist’s entire career in Europe, ranging from his student days and early orientation towards Realism to the evanescent and atmospheric lithographs and etchings of his mature style.

Nearly all of the Whistler works came to the Museum through the bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, an early collector of both Whistler’s prints as well as Japanese art. This set of interests brought her in contact with America’s most important collector of Whistler’s work, Charles Lang Freer. Parker‘s Whistler collection is notable for its superb quality. The role of collector in the early twentieth century and Parker's championing of Whistler’s works will also be examined in this exhibition.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, the Friends of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the Doris Sloan Memorial Fund.