The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Harrison Smith Morris, 1856-1944

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1856.10.04
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA
Date of Death: 1944.04.24
Place of Death: Washington, DC


Harrison Smith Morris was an author, poet, editor and the Directing Manager of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.


Morris's poems include 'Walt Whitman' and 'Fickle Hope', both contained within An American Anthology, 1787–1900, edited by Edmund Clarence Stedman (Boston, 1900).

In December 1893 JW exhibited Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242) at the 63rd Annual Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, at which time Morris was the Directing Manager. Early in the following year he was in correspondence with JW, JW having been awarded the Temple Gold Medal by the exhibition jury (#04623). JW's works were on frequent display at the Academy because of the keen support of men like Morris. In 1895 Morris was in correspondence with the collector Arthur Jerome Eddy about borrowing Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Brown: Portrait of Arthur J. Eddy (YMSM 425) for their winter exhibition (#04624). In 1899 he sent JW some newspaper clippings regarding their 1898 winter exhibition at which Harmony in Green and Rose: The Music Room (YMSM 34) was well received (#04625).

In 1902 Morris was still Managing Director and had the pleasure of informing JW that he had been awarded the Gold Medal of Honor by the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (#04627). Around this time Morris and his wife met JW at the home of the Pennells. Morris described JW's conversation and wit as 'brilliant' (#04629). In the winter of 1902 Morris was responsible for gathering together a group of JW's work for the Academy's 72nd annual exhibition, five of which were lent by Charles Lang Freer (#04631, #04632). However, Freer was displeased at the way in which they were hung (#13799).


WHo Was Who in America, vol. 2, 1943-1950, Chicago, 1963; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.