Opening Lectures

How Whistler’s Mother Became an American Icon
Sunday, July 5, 11 am and 3 pm
Manton Curator of Prints, Drawing, and Photographs Jay A. Clarke considers the path of Whistler’s Mother from Whistler’s London studio in 1871 to its purchase by the French government in 1891. Clarke then explores the event that sealed its fame: the painting’s tour in the United States in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
Reservations required.

Gallery Talk with Carey Powers
Friday, July 10, 3:30 pm
Carey Powers, the Clark’s Lunder Special Assistant to the Director, discusses the history of Whistler’s Mother starting with its creation in London in 1871. Powers then traces the history of the picture from its purchase by the French state in 1891 to its tour in the United States during the Great Depression and its absorption into American popular culture.

Gallery Talk with Leslie Paisley
Friday, July 17, 3:30 pm
Leslie Paisley, head of paper conservation, Williamstown Art Conservation Center, describes the conservation treatment she performed on several works in the exhibition. In particular, she considers the importance of paper to Whistler and how these choices affected the works on view.

Gallery Talk with Heather Nolin
Friday, July 24, 3:30 pm
Heather Nolin, Arthur Ross Collection Research Associate and Project Manager, Yale University Art Gallery, considers the importance of place in Whistler’s work, including his time spent in Paris, London, and Venice. Nolin explores how site affected the artist’s approach to serial imagery.

Whistler’s Mother: A Family History
A public lecture with Justin McCann
Saturday, August 8, 11 am
Justin McCann, Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies Fellow at Colby College Museum of Art, tells the intimate story of the painting as part of a transatlantic history of the Whistler family. It places the portrait and Whistler family at the heart of the expatriate community of Americans in London and delves deep into that context to show how Whistler’s expatriate status shaped his career and artistic identity.

Gallery Talk with Kevin Murphy
Friday, September 4, 3:30 pm
Kevin Murphy, Eugénie Prendergast Curator of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art, investigates Whistler’s bravura brushwork and delicate use of line, with which he created some of the most beautiful—and most controversial—artwork of the nineteenth century. The artist was known for his radical artistic processes, among them the thin ground used for Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist’s Mother).


Member Hours: Early Admission
Members enjoy 9 am admission to Whistler’s Mother every Saturday, July 4 through September 26.

Gallery Talk: Highlights Tour
Tuesday, July 14, 9:15am
Join Carey Powers, Lunder Special Assistant to the Director and one of the exhibition coordinators, for a highlights tour of Whistler’s Mother: Grey, Black, and White. Space is limited; reservations are required.

Gallery Talk: Highlights Tour
Tuesday, August 4, 9:15 am
Join Jay A. Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, for a highlights tour of Whistler’s Mother: Grey, Black, and White. Space is limited; reservations are required.