National Academy Museum

and School of Fine Arts



May 1 - June 26, 1998


James McNeill Whistler

Rotherhithe, 1860, 11 x 7 7/8 inches, etching

Collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art

A remarkable revival of the art of printmaking occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century, led, in part, by American expatriate James McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903). An extraordinarily innovative artist of his generation, today Whistler is considered to be one of the most influential printmakers in the history of art. Whistler: Impressions of an American Abroad - Etchings and Lithographs from the Carnegie Museum of Art, organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art and The American Federation of Arts, presents the entire range of the artist's graphic expression. Linda Batis, associate curator of fine arts at the Carnegie, has selected outstanding examples of 50 etchings and 31 lithographs, including many of the artist's most noted graphic achievements, for this special traveling exhibition. New York audiences will have the opportunity to see this exhibition at the National Academy Museum from May 1 through June 26, 1998, one of six institutions on a North American tour. Presentation of the exhibition at the National Academy is coordinated by Chief Curator Dr. David Dearinger.

Although born in Massachusetts, Whistler spent most of his life abroad. When he moved to Paris in 1855, the revival of etching as a creative medium was just gaining momentum. One of the first artists to create unique impressions by manipulating the amount and distribution of the ink while printing, Whistler brought great originality to the medium. His conviction that prints are equal to paintings as an expression of the artist's creativity fostered a renaissance among European and American printmakers in the generations that followed him.

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