The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Charles Abel Corwin, 1857-1938

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1857.01.06
Place of Birth: Newburgh, NY
Date of Death: 1938.01.27
Place of Death: Chicago, IL


Charles Abel Corwin was a painter and muralist.


Corwin belonged to a group of young artists based in Munich who spent their summers in Venice and Florence. They were called the 'Duveneck boys' after their leader the American artist Frank Duveneck. The group included John White Alexander, Otto Henry Bacher, Robert Frederick Blum, George Edward Hopkins, Harper Pennington, Julius Rolshoven and Theodore M. Wendel. It was whilst in Venice 1879/80 that Corwin met Whistler.

The young painters were in awe of Whistler's experience and reputation. Whistler enjoyed their admiration, and happily discussed his work and gave advice to the students. He used to come and sketch from the windows of the Casa Jankowitz on the Riva San Biagio in Castello where the group were staying.

Corwin exhibited at the Boston Museum Exhibition of American Etchings in the spring of 1881. His etchings show the influence that Whistler had on him. This was noted by the American art critic Koehler in 1881.

In a letter of March 1881 from Maud Franklin to Bacher, Maud specifically asks that Whistler and herself might be remembered to Corwin [#11621].

In 1883 Corwin began teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Koehler, R., American Art Review, vol. 11, 1881, p. 231; Andrew, W. W., Otto Bacher, Madison, Wisconsin, 1973; MacDonald, Margaret F., Palaces in the Night: Whistler in Venice, London, 2001.