Morning Glories

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
Drawing; chalk and pastel on brown paper
H x W: 26.1 x 16.2 cm (10 1/4 x 6 3/8 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


balcony, flower, river, United States, water, woman

To 1903
Sir William Burrell (1861-1958), Glasgow, Scotland, to 1903 [1]

From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Sir William Burrell in 1903 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, pg. 25, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] 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)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Sir William Burrell (C.L. Freer source) 1861-1958


While working to improve his facility with drawing and composition, Whistler made studies of classically draped models in Japanese attitudes, posing in front of a bamboo railing he designed especially for this purpose. The chalk drawings are studies in line, as the Six Projects (see F1902.138, F1903.175--F1903.179) are studies in color, for elaborate figure paintings Whistler was never able to complete, though he would use some of the themes in pastel drawings such as Morning Glories and Annabel Lee (F1905.129), which was completed years later. Whistler signed the drawings around 1874, placing his butterfly emblem beside each figure as though it were a Japanese artist’s seal.

Published References
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©. New Haven, 1995. .
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 242, pl. 214.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.