Edward Hornor Coates was President of Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.
During Coates Presidency of the Philadelphia Academy, the Academy founded a gallery of national portraiture, made rich endowments to schools and acquired some important examples of the work of Gilbert Stuart. The annual exhibitions too gained a reputation for excellence, with artists such as John Singer Sargent, Edwin Austen Abbey, Cecilia Beaux, William Merritt Chase, Julian Alden Weir and JW exhibiting. JW's works were exhibited there regularly between 1881 and 1911.
McLure Hamilton painted Coates's portrait on a number of occasions, first with his dog in Camp Elsinore, on the shores of Lake Saint Regis in the Adirondack Mountains, then again in Murestead while Coates was visiting London, and finally in camp in 1917.
Hamilton, John McLure, Men I Have Painted, London, 1921; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.