Thomas Way Sr. (1827-1915), London, or Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), London, to 1905 
From 1905 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Thomas Way Sr. or Thomas Robert Way in 1905 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Whistler List, Etchings, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. According to Provenance Remark 1, Kenneth Myers, "Whistler in Venice: The First Set of Etchings," 2001, in the object record: "Although Whistler pulled test impressions of his plates while in Venice, the prints he sent to the Fine Art Society for sale were produced in London, where he was assisted by a professional printer, Thomas Way, and several students. This superb impression was probably printed in London, since Whistler gave it to Way, whose name is inscribed on the back."
Thomas Way Sr. and his son, Thomas Robert Way, were lithographers who worked closely with Whistler on several of his projects. They helped with the printing of his etchings, as well as the printing of Whistler’s promotional materials. Both Thomas Way Sr. and Thomas Robert Way owned many Whistler works. Thomas Way Sr. acquired several of these works at the time of Whistler’s bankruptcy, and he passed some of them on to his son (see The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, 1855-1903, ed. Margaret F. MacDonald, Patricia de Montfort and Nigel Thorp, On-line Edition, People, biographies of Thomas Way and Thomas Robert Way; http://www.whistler.arts.gla.ac.uk/correspondence).
Charles Lang Freer acquired many Whistler pieces from the Ways. However, museum records do not always specify whether it was the younger or elder Way who was the source of a particular object. Further, archival sources indicate that the junior Way sometimes acted on behalf of his father: whilst negotiating the sale of his own Whistler works to C.L. Freer, he would concurrently negotiate the sale of some of his father’s Whistler works to Freer. In cases where it is unclear whether it was the junior or senior Way who actually owned a piece acquired by C.L. Freer, the provenance record will simply state that the object was purchased from “Thomas Way Sr. or Thomas Robert Way.”
 See note 1.
 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) and Custodian(s)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Whistler etchings are identified by "G" numbers as assigned in "James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonné," by Margaret F. McDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock (University of Glasgow, 2012), http://etchings.arts.gla.ac.uk. This print is G233 state 6 of 9.
- Published References
- Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, Joanna Meacock. James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonée., 2012. .
- Howard Mansfield. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etchings and Dry-points of James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Chicago, 1909. .
- Katharine Lochnan. The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler. Exh. cat. New Haven and London, 1984. .
- Edward G. Kennedy. The Etched Work of Whistler: Illustrated by Reproductions in Collotype of the Different States of the Plates. 4 vols., New York, 1910. .
- Collection Area(s)
- American Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
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