UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Philippa Maude Philip, 1865-1915

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1865.10.19
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1915.12.04
Place of Death:

Identity:

Philippa Maude Philip was JW's sister-in-law. She was the daughter of John Birnie Philip, a sculptor, and Frances Black, the daughter of John Black, a clerk. She was one of ten children: Constance (b. 1854), Beatrix (b. 1857), Edith (b. 1859), Ethel (b. 1861), Jane Bertha (b. 1864), Frances Septima (b. 1867), John Francis (b. 1869), Ronald Murray (b. 1871) and Rosalind Birnie (b. 1873).

Life:

Philippa's sister Beatrix married the Aesthetic Movement architect and designer E. W. Godwin in 1876, before marrying JW in 1888, subsequent to Godwin's death in 1886. Her sister Rosalind acted as companion, model, secretary and house keeper for JW after Beatrix's death, and was appointed JW's executrix at his death. Ethel married the American journalist and writer Charles Whibley in 1894. Ronald was a civil engineer who in 1900-1 accompanied JW on a trip to Gibraltar, Algiers, Tangiers, Marseilles and Corsica. Beatrix, Ethel, Ronald and Rosalind all acted as models at different times for JW.

Following the death of Beatrix, Philippa appears to have worked as a kind of occasional assistant for JW (#04660; #04661). JW, who called Philippa, 'Miss Maude', described her in 1897 as 'very kind and charming' (#04698). In 1898 JW suggested that Philippa, Rosalind, Frances and their mother join him at Dunster, Somerset (#04735). At this date Philippa and Frances kept in touch with JW through letter writing (#04741). JW described himself as their 'affectionate and Knightly brother' (#04767). Her mother and Rosalind kept house for for JW, both Dhu House in Chelsea and 110 rue du Bac. Philippa would have stayed there also.

Bibliography:

Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; 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.