Catalogue of an Exhibition of Lithographs by Whistler: With an Introduction and Notes (Classic Reprint)

Catalogue of an Exhibition of Lithographs by Whistler: With an Introduction and Notes (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from Catalogue of an Exhibition of Lithographs by Whistler: With an Introduction and Notes

Goulding with those printed by Way. It is not generally understood that Whistler left the litho graphic stones to Miss Birnie Philip, his artistic executrix, along with a small supply of the finest old paper which he had collected, with definite instructions that she take a tirage and then ren der it impossible for further proofs to be taken. The stones were destroyed, so far as their print ing power was concerned, by covering them with a sort of varnish which makes it impossible to print from them, but leaves the stone itself with Whistler’s drawing still visible. It is to be hoped that these stones will eventually come into the possession of one of the great English public collections.

Along with the stones and the supply of old paper, Whistler left a certain number of proofs printed by Way (although he had broken with Way long before), and these Way impressions were signed in pencil with the Butterfly. In order that there might be no confusion, Miss Birnie Philip stamped every proof at the back with her initials, those of the Way printing with a stamp having a square border, and those of the Goulding printing with a similar stamp hav ing a round border.

The supply of old paper unfortunately did not go very far, in the case of most of the stones yielding only a score or so of impressions. After the stock of old paper was exhausted, further proofs were printed from some of the stones on modern 0. W. Paper, bringing the number printed by Goulding to about thirty-five proofs from each stone on the average. The proofs on O. W. Paper, while certainly fine impressions, lack the peculiar distinction of the proofs on old paper. It might be remarked that Whistler was probably the greatest connoisseur of old paper that ever lived.

Mr. Kennedy’s catalogue gives the number of proofs printed by Way in the case of each litho graph. For the subjects included in the present exhibition an average figures out to twenty-three proofs of each subject printed by Way. In the absence of more precise figures, therefore, the amateur would be safe in considering that the total number of proofs existing of each subject is about sixty. It is much to be regretted that the number printed by Goulding was not larger, since sixty proofs is quite insufficient to supply a wide international market.

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