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Whistler 2003 - Centenary Journal

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22nd April 2003 - Whistler, Women, and Fashion

Today marks the opening of a new show at The Frick Collection (East 70th Street, New York) entitled 'Whistler, Women, and Fashion'.

Marking the centenary of the death of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), the exhibition represents the first in-depth exploration of the artist's lifelong involvement in fashion as an essential aspect of his work. It features eight magnificent full-length oil portraits of women by Whistler and sixty other works, including oils, his finest prints and drawings, pastel studies for paintings, costume designs by the artist, and portrait etchings and watercolors, as well as fashion plates and period costumes.

The exhibition is organized by Susan Grace Galassi, Curator at The Frick Collection, and the leading Whistler scholar, Margaret F. MacDonald, Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Whistler Studies at the University of Glasgow; Aileen Ribeiro, Head of the History of Dress Section at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, is the costume consultant for the exhibition. The three scholars, joined by Patricia de Montfort, Research Fellow at the Centre for Whistler Studies, are the authors of a fully illustrated accompanying book to be published by Yale University Press.

In connection with the exhibition, which places fashion at the center of James McNeill Whistler's oeuvre, a one-day conference will be held on June 7, 2003 to explore the role of costume in European art from the Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century. At the Conference on Dress and Art nine speakers - art and dress historians among them - will give talks that focus on such artists as Holbein, Titian, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Gainsborough, David, and Whistler, all of whom are represented in The Frick Collection.

Contact The Frick Collection for further details.