Freer, gallery 10–11
For renowned artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), watercolor was the medium through which he reinvented himself in the 1880s and painted his way into posterity. No one was more smitten with Whistler and his works than museum founder Charles Lang Freer, who amassed the world’s largest collection of watercolors by the artist and included them in his bequest to the Smithsonian in 1906. Freer’s collection comprises more than fifty examples—figures, landscapes, nocturnes, and interiors—of Whistler’s watercolors, yet these works have never left the confines of the Freer Gallery of Art. Whistler in Watercolor introduces museum visitors to the artist’s vast creative output and provides wide access to a rarely seen segment of his work.