The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Loomis Lyman Langdon, 1830-1910

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1830.10.25
Place of Birth: New York State
Date of Death: 1910.01.07
Place of Death: New York, NY


Langdon married Hattie Molleson Creamer. Their son Russell Creamer Langdon (1872-1963) graduated from the West Point class of 1896 and had a distinguished military career.


Loomis Lyman Langdon was a year older than Whistler. A professional soldier, he was in the class one year before Whistler at West Point.

In 1853 he was first in his class for drawing. According to Langdon, quoted by Pennell, 'Whistler lived in the barracks near me. As ... I stood at the head of my class in drawing and painting and he at the head of his class in the same branches, we had a common interest. ... He was often in my room and there made sketches in Indian ink ...' He acquired some works by Whistler; see for instance, Baby (M.93).

He graduated in the class of 1854 and joined the artillery, served in Florida, and rose to Artillery Commander in Virginia in 1864. He visited Europe and met Whistler in Venice in 1880. Soon after Whistler's arrival in Venice in 1879, Langdon commissioned him to paint a portrait of his son, Portrait of a Boy (YMSM 211), but it does not seem to have been completed.

He became a Colonel in 1894, and retired in 1904 with the rank of Brigadier General. He died in New York at the age of 80 on 7 January 1910.


Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, pp. 307-08, 311-12; Who Was Who in America, Chicago; Cullum Memorial Edition, Register of Graduates and former cadets, United States Militery Academy, West Point, 1980, pp. 246, 284 (Nos. 1650, 3726); Figures in a Landscape (YMSM 2); Portrait of a Boy (YMSM 211); Baby (M.93); Scenes from cadet life and Hugo or Dumas (M.168); Figures in a landscape (M.175).