The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Frederick Goulding, 1842-1909

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1842.10.07
Place of Birth: Islington
Date of Death: 1909.03.05
Place of Death: London


Frederick Goulding was an English printer and print-maker. His brother Charles was also a lithographic printer.


Goulding was apprenticed as a copper-plate and lithographic printer in 1857 to Day and Son, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. It was here that Whistler first came into contact with him in 1859. Goulding recalled that at this time he would grind the ink and turn the press for Whistler's prints. In 1861 he printed his first plate for Whistler, The Punt (K.85a).

Goulding quickly established his reputation as an intaglio printer and during the 1860s and 1870s a large number of prominent artists came to him to have their etchings printed, including Whistler, Samuel Palmer, Francis Seymour Haden and Alphonse Legros. Goulding used to also visit his house at Cheyne Walk, and then later the White House on Tite Street, and together experiment with printing techniques. In 1880 Goulding set up his own workshop with three presses at Kingston House, 53 Shepherd's Bush Road, London.

After attending T. R. Way's 1893 lecture and demonstration of lithography for the Art Workers' Guild, Goulding added a lithographic press to his workshop. He and his brother set up a practice to rival that of Way. He provided artists with rare old papers and also developed his own smooth transfer paper.

There was a degree of rivalry between Goulding and Whistler, Goulding setting himself up as leader in the revival of artistic lithography. It is ironic therefore that he should have been commissioned by Whistler's executrix, Rosalind Birnie Philip, to print posthumous editions of his lithographs in 1903-04.

Following his bankruptcy in May 1879, Whistler left in 1880 for Venice with a commission from the Fine Art Society for a set of twelve etchings. He returned with around fifty etchings and one hundred pastels. The Fine Art Society showed the first Twelve Etchings of Venice in December 1880. Whistler had agreed to print 25 sets, but he kept trying to perfect them, and Goulding completed the editions after his death.

Goulding was a member of The Arts Club from 1887 until 1909.


Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Laura Suffield, 'Prints', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 24 May 2002); MacDonald, Margaret F., 'James McNeill Whistler', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 24 May 2002).