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Interior of the British Artists Exhibition
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Interior of the British Artists Exhibition


James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

Pen and ink (Indian) on paper (the Society's note paper)

Height: 20.2 cm; Width: 12.6 cm;


Signed in pen and ink (brown), upper right & recto, butterfly motif

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952

About this work
When Whistler was elected President of the Society of British Artists in June 1886 he immediately set out to modernise the design of the Society’s exhibitions. This included drastically reducing the number of pictures exhibited, hanging them on a two-tiered system, and using a velarium or overhead awning to diffuse natural light. This sketch, and its pair in the Courtauld’s collection, were made on a single sheet of the Society’s writing paper, later torn in two parts. They are among a number of drawings the artist made of his revolutionary decorations. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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