Incisive Vision: The Prints of James Abbott McNeill Whistler

April 2 – June 13, 2004

Active in England and France, the American-born painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) is one of the giants of nineteenth-century printmaking. He was a leader in the revival of etching at this time. 

This exhibition featured a selection of the 25 prints by Whistler donated to the Smart Museum in 2001. Included are early, middle, and late period etchings and drypoints. These exhibit different stylistic modes—from earlier works influenced by seventeenth-century Dutch art to later orientalizing graphics inspired by Japanese art. Included are individual prints from some of the artist's most important cycles, including Twelve Etchings from Nature and The French Set. The exhibition also displayed a wide range of Whistler's preferred subjects, including Thames River views of London, scenes of Venice, portraits, and urban genre scenes.