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The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Whistler 2003 - Centenary Journal

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17th January 2003 - Whistler's Mother's Hair-dresser

This week, Dr Margaret MacDonald, Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Whistler Studies, has been in London to check the final page proofs of two Whistler books to be published this summer: one entitled 'Whistler, Women and Fashion' (Frick Collection) and the other called 'An American icon: Whistler's Mother' (Lund Humphries).

With regard to the latter publication, Margaret points out one or two surprising aspects of the great matriarch's life, not least the following quotation from the formidable lady of the portrait. Visiting Liverpool in November 1829, Anna writes: "Then we went to the most fashionable hair dresser's. I think Maria would approve of the outside of my head at least now, it is adorned with curls, puffs, &c. as high as she used to wish me to wear it" (GUL Whistler W344).

Whistler's famous painting of his mother comes to the Hunterian Gallery, Glasgow, in June.