The Whistler House Museum of Art, birthplace of the artist James McNeill Whistler, was established in 1908 as the permanent home of the Lowell Art Association. Founded in 1878, the Lowell Art Association owns and operates the Museum as an historic site. Built in 1823 as the residence of the Chief Engineer for the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals Corporation, the Whistler House represents the richness of the history and the art of Lowell.
The museum maintains its permanent collection of 19th and early 20th century New England representational artists and organizes contemporary and historical fine arts exhibitions in the adjacent Parker Gallery. Constructed in 2004, Whistler Park is a contemporary take on the traditional Victorian Garden. The park’s central feature is a bronze sculpture of James McNeill Whistler by the internationally known artist and sculptor, Mico Kaufman.
Artwork from the Museum’s Permanent Collection is on display in the galleries of the Whistler House. Among the artists represented are: Frank Weston Benson, William Morris Hunt, William M. Paxton, William Preston Phelps, Aldro Hibbard, Arshile Gorky and Arthur P. Spear. The Museum also exhibits a fine collection of Whistler etchings.
The historic house, Whistler Park and adjacent Parker Gallery may be rented for special events or functions. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
James McNeill Whistler was born on July 11, 1834 in the Worthen Street house where his father Major George Washington was the agent for the Locks and Canals Corporation. The first-born son of George and his second wife, Anna Mathilda, he was baptized James Abbott Whistler at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church on Merrimack Street in Lowell. He later included his mother’s maiden name, McNeill, in his signature. In 1842 Major Whistler was invited by Czar Nicholas I to supervise construction of the first Russian railroad form St. Petersburg to Moscow.
James McNeill Whistler spent his most productive years in Paris and London where he had a tremendous influence on the art scene. He is credited with introducing the Impressionists to England and strongly advocating the importance of Japanese art. Whistler was also known for his graphic art, having produced more than 400 etchings, drypoints and 150 superlative lithographs. The Whistler House is proud to own a fine collection of his prints.
Whistler House Museum of Art Address
Whistler House Museum of Art
243 Worthen St
Lowell, MA 01852
Phone: (978) 452-7641