CRE WHISTLER, Beatrix; (English; 1857-1896) There are 30 studies of birds in the Hunterian collection, ranging from pencil sketches to finished oil paintings. Beatrix Whistler kept pet birds and designed bird cages for them (see GLAHA 46575-46579). In 1895, the collector Charles L. Freer sent Beatrix Whistler a songbird from India, which she loved. It joined a white parrot and mocking bird at the Whistlers' home in Paris, 110 rue du Bac. They and Beatrix are depicted in the drawing 'Beatrice Whistler looking at her birds' (M1398, AHA 46196).
Beatrix Whistler would work up drawings with sketchy strokes into finished designs, with expressive, flowing lines, for furniture panels or tiles. During the early 1880s, Beatrix's first husband E. W. Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer, sold many designs illustrating the seasons and birds to tile manufacturers Minton, Hollins & Co., Belham & Co. and Wilcock & Co. It is likely that some of these designs were by Beatrix Whistler. Tile-sized drawings in the Hunterian with six-inch square borders were probably designs that were not sold for manufacture.
The top bird is a sketch for the more highly finished design, GLAHA 46686.
Birnie Philip Gift, 1935 - not lendable