UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Murray Marks, 1840-1918

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1840
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1918.05.06
Place of Death: 75 Marine Parade, Brighton

Identity:

Murray Marks, dealer in oriental art. His executrix was Phoebe Marks, spinster.

Life:

Dealer in oriental art and friend of artists, including JW, Rossetti, Sandys and Leighton. With Durlacher, Marks had a shop at 395 Oxford Street which was from 1875 a focus for oriental enthusiasts, including JW, Rossetti and Sir Henry Thompson. According to Williamson, Marks' trade card was designed by Rossetti with help from William Morris and JW. However, it is more likely that JW advised on the selection of Chinese ornaments than that he joined an already formidable team of designers (Williamson, 1919, pp. 14-5, repr. facing p. 14 as 'Trade Card Designed for Murray Marks'). Murray Marks helped Thompson buy porcelain and catalogued his collection and it was at Marks's suggestion, in 1876, that JW was asked to illustrate the catalogue, while Marks wrote the preface and catalogue entries for an exhibition (see Studies of blue and white porcelain (M.592)). The porcelain (339 pieces), the catalogue, and the drawings for the catalogue, were exhibited in Marks' shop and the private view was held on 30 April 1878

Bibliography:

Williamson, George Charles, Murray Marks and his Friends, London and New York, 1919; Annual Register, 1918, p. 177; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.