James McNeill Whistler Collection
The more than 200 etchings and lithographs that make up this Whistler Collection represent some of the rarest and most beautiful impressions by this American master. They are contextualized within the Lunder Collection alongside exquisite examples of the artist's work in other mediums, including the luminous oil painting Harmony in Grey—Chelsea in Ice, from 1864, along with 22 other oils, watercolors, and pastels by Whistler in the Lunder Collection. The Lunders also have given the College a collection of more than 150 books, journals, photographs, and archival materials related to Whistler. Housed in Colby’s Special Collections, this research material is available by appointment to students and researchers.
Biography of James McNeill Whistler
James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, lived in Russia as a young child, and attended the United States Military Academy for three years. When he was twenty-one he left the United States, never to return, although he always maintained his citizenship. He first went to Paris to study art with the painter Charles Gleyre. Four years later he moved to London, where he was to spend most of the rest of his life, with significant periods in Venice and Paris. While he achieved fame as a painter, executing such signature works as Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, of 1871, and his impressionistic, proto-abstract Nocturnes, he was also an extremely serious and innovative printmaker, executing some 450 etchings and drypoints and approximately 180 lithographs throughout his career.