Elsie married the London art dealer Mrs Ernest G. Brown in 1885. They had two children, Helen ('Nellie') and Oliver, and lived in Dulwich Village. She outlived her husband, and died at 4 Gardner Mansions, Church Row, London, in 1943.
In 1886 JW designed a colour scheme for the Browns' bathroom, Colour scheme for a lavatory (M.1104). The following decade they commissioned a portrait of their daughter from JW. Rose and Gold: 'Pretty Nellie Brown' (YMSM 451) was begun probably late November 1895 at 8 Fitzroy Street but was not fully completed until May 1900. From 1896 to 1898, JW was in correspondence with Mrs Brown, mainly concerning sitting arrangements for Nellie. On 27 October 1896 he wrote to her that Nellie's hair must not be cut (#03653).
Times, London, 5 October 1943, p. 1; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.