The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Cora Urquhart Potter, 1857-1936

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1857
Place of Birth: New Orleans
Date of Death: 1936
Place of Death:


She married New York socialite James Brown Potter in 1877. However, she left her husband and children and went on the stage, arriving in England in 1886. They were divorced in 1903.


In the 1880s JW expressed a desire to paint her portrait (#10971). Such a picture is not known to exist. However, in the 1890s in a letter to a Mrs Potter, JW writes concerning a picture: 'I am only pleased at the value you set upon it and the care you take of it. It is a delight to have one's work in this way considered' (#09357).

She starred at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. She joined Herbert Beerbohm Tree's company in 1898. Her roles included appearing as Juliet and Cleopatra in Shakespeare's plays. Oscar Wilde offered her the title role in his Salome, but she turned it down. She retired in 1912 apart from a 1919 charity performance.

She moved in high society, including the circle of the Prince of Wales. She dedicated a book My recitations, Philadelphia, 1887, to Robert Browning.

Bibliography: (accessed 2004.6).