The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Mary Katherine Keemle Field, 1838-1896

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1838.10.01
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1916.05.19
Place of Death:


Mary Katherine Keemle ('Kate') Field was a journalist, author and actor.


Field was a keen advocator of women's rights and of spiritualism. She paid several visits to England where she met Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and JW. She is said to have had a romantic involvement with Anthony Trollope. Her publications include Adelaide Ristori (1867); Extremes Meet. A comedietta; The history of Bell's Telephone (1878); Pen Photographs of Charles Dickens' Readings (1868); Taken from life (1868); Planchette's Diary (1868); Ten Days in Spain (1875); Charles Albert Fechter (1882).

In London in June 1871, Field stayed at Aubrey House, Notting Hill. She visited JW with a friend in July 1873: 'Then we went to James Whistler's by appointment . He was very cordial, showed me over his charming house - delighted with his pictures. Hennessy said he had never seen Whistler so radiant. We remained two hours. Dined at Hennessy's, met Appleton of 'the Academy''. She was among those included in a list by JW that may have been a guest list for his 1874 Pall Mall exhibition or a subscription list for his Venice etchings as envisaged in 1876 (#12714).

In 1893 Field was among 74 notable Americans to contribute an essay to the American Press Association for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, predicting what life would be like in the 1990s. Hers was entitled, 'All Depends on Our Women'.


Whiting, Lilian, Kate Field: A Record, London, 1899, pp. 257, 315; Moss, Carolyn J. (ed.), Kate Field: Selected letters, Southern Illinois, 1996.