Edward Guthrie Kennedy, dealer with H. Wunderlich & Co., New York.
Kennedy represented the New York and Paris firm H. Wunderlich & Co. in their dealings with JW from 1885 on. He was christened 'O'K' by Beatrix Whistler after the vanished 'O'Kennedys' of Ireland, After Wunderlich's death he became head of the firm and it now bears his name. He was closely associated with JW for many years.
He first posed for JW in July 1892, for a drypoint, Man in an Arbour, but JW eventually destroyed the plate. He compiled the standard catalogue of JW's etchings, published in 1910, and edited and republished Way's catalogue of JW's lithographs, in 1914. His correspondence with JW wasannotated and presented by him to New York Public Library in 1927.
Portrait of E. G. Kennedy (2) (YMSM 404) was painted for the sitter; according to Kennedy, as thanks for services rendered, and he posed in JW's top floor studio in the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs in the summer of 1893. In July 1893 Kennedy took his incomplete portrait back to New York. He brought it to Paris again next year when he continued the sittings; by 20 May 1894 Kennedy thought the portrait, which they called 'OK', needed one more session; he posed in the garden, he wrote, on one foot like 'John of Bologna's "Mercury"' (#07233). It was continued in Paris the following summer and Kennedy promised to return so that the upper lip could be retouched. Kennedy went to France with JW after the death of JW's wife in the summer of 1896, but there was no reference to the portrait being continued. Kennedy thought it 'a "poor" portrait' and did not wish it to be exhibited in his lifetime.
Obituary, New York Herald Tribune, 10 October 1832; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; Kennedy, Edward G., The Etched Work of Whistler, illustrated by reproductions in collotype of the different states of the plates, New York, 1910; Kennedy, Edward G., The Lithographs by Whistler. Illustrated by Reproductions in Photogravure and Lithography Arranged According to the Catalogue by Thomas R. Way. With Additional Subjects not before Recorded, New York, 1914; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.