The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Edward Hamilton, 1815 or 1816-1903

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1815 or 1816
Place of Birth: Sudbury, Harrow, Middlesex
Date of Death: 1903.08.31
Place of Death:


Hamilton graduated from the University of St Andrews in 1842. He registered as an MD on 1 January 1859.


He was a friend of Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], and shared his interest in prints and print-collecting. He was elected to the committee of the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1867, at the time when Whistler was forced to resign from the club, as a result of a quarrel with Haden. Hamilton was a member of The Arts Club from 1863-73 and also a member of the Fine Arts Club.

Hamilton was involved in another dispute between Haden and Whistler in the spring of 1881, when the newly formed Painter-Etchers' Society held an exhibition at the Hanover Gallery in London. Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], submitted three Venice etchings, and Haden (who was President of the Society) suspected that they were in fact by JW. Anxious to compare the etchings with those that JW had been printing for the Fine Art Society, Haden, Alphonse Legros and Hamilton paid a visit to the Society's gallery. JW was indignant when he heard of the visit, regarding it as an attack on his artistic integrity. A lengthy correspondence ensued that was eventually published by JW (Whistler, James McNeill, The Piker Papers. The Painter-Etchers' Society and Mr. Whistler, London, 1881).

Haden and Hamilton were not entirely unreasonable, since etchings such as F. Duveneck's The Riva, No. 2 and The Laguna or View of Shipping from the Riva are close in composition and title to etchings by Whistler such as The Riva, No.1 (K.192) (see MacDonald, Margaret F., Palaces in the Night Whistler in Venice, Aldershot, 2001, pp. 70, 96).


Newbolt, Francis, The History of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers 1880-1930, The Print Collector's Club, London, 1930; UK Census 1881; Medical Register, London.