Design for a Decorated Fan

A nude figure, dancing, fitted to the shape of a spoke in a folding fan.

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903)
Historical period(s)
Watercolor and graphite on paper
H x W: 17.6 x 11.2 cm (6 15/16 x 4 7/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


fan, United States

From 1899 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), given by the artist in 1899 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]


[1] See List of Whistler Paintings, etc., Transferred to the Smithsonian Institution, January 3, 1921, pg. 2, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The Registration number for this object was changed to correspond with the date of gift. On the back of the sketch, a note in Mr. Freer's handwriting states: "Sketch for Fan. Given to me by Mr. Whistler, August 1899. C.L.F." (according to Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record).

[2] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

James McNeill Whistler (C.L. Freer source) 1834 - 1903
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


A nude figure, dancing, fitted to the shape of a spoke in a folding fan.


Verso inscribed by Freer: Sketch for Fan / Given to me by Mr Whistler / August 1899 / CLF

Published References
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven, 1995. .
  • Burns A. Stubbs Freer Gallery of Art. Paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and copper plates by and attributed to American and European artists, together with a list of original Whistleriana in the Freer Gallery of Art. Occasional Papers Series, vol. 1 Washington, D.C. p. 19.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 207, pl. 139.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.