The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Ernest George Brown, 1853/1854-1915

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1853 or 1854
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1915.02.18
Place of Death:


Ernest George Brown was a London art dealer. He married in 1895 and had two children, Helen and Ernest. They lived at Dulwich Village.


JW first met Brown when he was a young man working in the office of Messrs. Seeley & Co. JW made a significant impression on him and when Brown began working for the Fine Art Society, he persuaded the Society to publish three of JW's London plates. Before this date Brown had worked for The Portfolio which had published Billingsgate (K.47a) in January 1878. In 1879 when JW was in financial difficulty after the Ruskin trial, Brown, who had become the assistant manager of the Fine Art Society, persuaded its directors to offer JW a commission for twelve plates to be made in Venice.

Brown helped to organise a number of JW exhibitions at the Fine Art Society: of Venice etchings in 1880 and 1883; lithographs in 1895 and silverware in 1902. He commissioned a portrait of his daughter from JW. Rose and Gold: 'Pretty Nellie Brown' (YMSM 451) was begun probably late November 1895 at 8 Fitzroy Street but not fully completed until May 1900. He later moved to the Leicester Galleries, where he became a partner in 1903.


Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; UK Census 1881; MS note with Glasgow University Library, Whistler LB 9; Brown, Oliver, Exhibition: the Memoirs of Oliver Brown, London, 1968.