James McNeill Whistler - The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 1890

James McNeill Whistler (Lowell, Massachusetts, 1834 - 1903, London)

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 1890

Printed ink on paper, 26 x 20.5 cm (10 1/4 x 8 1/16 in.)


Object details

Accession number



  • James McNeill Whistler (Lowell, Massachusetts, 1834 - 1903, London) - author
  • William Heinemann (Surbiton, Surrey, 1863 - 1920, London) - publisher



Binding Description

quarter-bound in yellow cloth; gilded stamped lettering and butterfly on cover; black stamped lettering on spine


Probably acquired by Isabella Stewart Gardner from James McNeill Whistler by 1906.


Dedicated and signed in ink (frontispiece): Isabella S. Gardner [with butterfly signature]
Enclosed: Two letters from James McNeill Whistler


Isabella Stewart Gardner. A Choice of Books from the Library of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Fenway Court (Boston, 1906), p. 70.

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By the late 1880s, James McNeill Whistler had recovered from his court case with the critic John Ruskin (see Whistler v. Ruskin: Art & Art Critics on the opposite wall) and renewed his creative energies, which included art criticism. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (1890) assembles his comprehensive perspective upon and hopes for modern art, as well as his acerbic responses to the critical press.


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