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Young Whistler: Early Prints and the "French Set"

August 28, 2004 – March 13, 2005

Museum: Freer Gallery of Art

Location: Ground Floor

This exhibition showcases 23 of James McNeill Whistler's most important etchings produced up to 1858, related drawings and watercolors, some of the artist's tools, and 5 of his copper printing plates. Examples include 13 prints published in October 1858 in a slim portfolio that has come to be known as the French Set as well as numerous other rarities like A Youth Wearing a German Cap and The Unsafe Tenement. Whistler learned to make prints in 1857, two years after he had moved to Paris to study painting. He was most influenced by realist painters and many of his early prints are realistic scenes of working-class life in Paris and rural France.