The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Otto Goldschmidt, 1829-1907

Nationality: German
Date of Birth: 1829.08.21
Place of Birth: Hamburg
Date of Death: 1907.02.24
Place of Death: London


Otto Goldschmidt was a pianist, conductor, composer and impresario. He married the actress Jenny Lind in 1852.


Goldschmidt settled in England in 1858. He was the founder of the London Bach Choir and its conductor from 1875 until 1885. He was the manager of the Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues and instrumental in persuading him to pose for Whistler in 1885 (see Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315)).

Goldschmidt greatly admired Whistler's work and at some point before March 1891 he bought Nocturne (YMSM 153). Whistler declared, 'By the way I am so glad you have that 'Nocturne'. You know that its value now is certainly from 800 to a thousand guineas! - and it will only increase in worth - and you bought it from sympathy and liking when things were not so!-' (#07967). Goldschmidt also bought Grey and Silver: Mist - Life Boat (YMSM 287), Grey and Green: A River (YMSM 295) and Note in pink and purple (M.935).

Whistler and Goldschmidt were in correspondence throughout the 1890s.


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.