UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Eva Carrington, ??-??

Nationality: British
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:

Identity:

Eva Carrington, the daughter of Walter Robert Chandler, was Whistler's model between 1898 and 1902. Her younger sister Gladys was also his model. Both girls went on the stage. Eva married Jack Southwell Russell, 25th Baron de Clifford, who owned 13,000 acres in County Mayo, in February 1906. In 1913 she married Captain Arthur Stock of Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire, and in 1922 George Vernon Tate, grandson of the founder of the Tate Gallery. She had several children, and the eldest, Edward, succeeded to the baronetcy.

Life:

Eva was tall (6' 2"), graceful and acrobatic and posed for a number of Whistler's dancing girls, e.g. The Dancer (No.1) (M.1624) and The Tambourine (M.1628). Whistler called her, 'the long legged dancing Blue Girl' (#04787). She also posed on occasion with a baby, e.g. Mother and child (M.1279). Her sister and she at times posed together e.g. Eva and Gladys Carrington seated on a sofa (M.1528), Eva and Gladys Carrington seated on a sofa (M.1529), The Bead Stringers (M.1530).

In 1898 Edith saw Whistler at work at 8 Fitzroy Street: 'Whistler was making nude paintings at this time of a girl, Eva Carrington - or they might have been pastels. He discovered her also in one of the 'alleys'. She was quite brazen and when I went into the studio he had an understanding that his maid Marie should take her out of his studio to the kitchen - 'while Miss Edith is here'.'

Eva modelled for Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Little Blue Girl (YMSM 421) in 1901 (see Sketch of 'Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Little Blue Girl' (M.1379)). When Whistler was convalescing in Corsica in 1901 he begged Rosalind Birnie Philip to keep in touch with the Carringtons: 'you might send round for them and see how they are getting on - Give some little present to Eva - anything - chocolates if you like - to both - & say I wanted some account of her - as indeed I do -' (#04787). He wanted to continue painting Eva on his return, and intended to bring a blue screen to Fitzroy Street from Paris for the purpose.

In Dublin in 1905, while starring in The Catch of the Season with Seymour Hick's company, Eva met her first husband J. S. Russell.

Bibliography:

Shaw, Edith and Margaret F. MacInnes, 'Four Years with Whistler', Apollo, vol. 87, March 1968, pp. 198-201; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.