Whistler in Watercolor

Online catalogue launches in November 2019

The Freer Gallery of Art is home to the world’s largest collection of watercolors by James McNeill Whistler. Originally acquired by museum founder Charles Lang Freer, the collection comprises more than fifty seascapes, figures, interiors, and nocturnes. This online catalogue introduces the artist’s vast creative output in watercolor and provides access to rarely seen works that have never left the confines of the Freer Gallery.

  • Explore Whistler’s watercolors with state-of-the-art technical imaging and archival documents.
  • Map the location where he created each artwork.
  • Read detailed curatorial information, including the provenance and exhibition history of each watercolor.
  • Look below the surface of each painting through technical analysis of the pigments and papers and through scientific imaging using ultraviolet, infrared, and x-ray analysis.

Scheduled to launch in November 2019, this online catalogue fills a major gap in Whistler studies. It contributes to a growing body of new scholarship on American watercolors, and it further defines the significance of watercolor in the United States and Britain in the late nineteenth century. Whistler in Watercolor marks the culmination of a research project that began in 2014, supported by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Program.