James Whistler | Homeschool Art Lesson Resources

June 2, 2009

James Whistler | Homeschool Art Lesson Resources

Biography
Whistler was born in Massachusetts. His father, Major George Washington Whistler, who had graduated from West Point, was a civil engineer. His mother Anna McNeill came from an aristocratic southern family. When he was nine the family moved to Russia where his father was building a railroad. Six years later his father died and the family returned to America. James himself entered West Point, but dropped out in his third year when he failed to pass a chemistry exam. He was later quoted as saying, “Had silicon been a gas I would have been a ‘Major-General’.” He worked for a while as a draftsman drawing maps, but he got in trouble for drawing pictures in the margins of the maps. He finally decided to just pursue art, and in 1855 he sailed to Paris. He was to never return to America.

James Whistler biography continued on GardenofPraise.com


James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 11, 1834 – July 17, 1903) was an American-born, British-based artist. Averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative. Finding a parallel between painting and music, Whistler titled many of his paintings “arrangements”, “harmonies”, and “nocturnes”, emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony. His most famous painting is the iconic Whistler’s Mother, the revered and oft parodied portrait of motherhood. A wit, dandy, and shameless self-promoter, Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers.

James Whistler biography continued on Wikipedia.org


James Whistler Study Guide
After you have read the biography, you can follow it up with a 7 question free printable worksheet. Questions include, “What was the name of his first successful painting? ” and “Why did he name the painting of his mother Arrangement in Grey and Black?”

James Whistler Study Guide from GardenofPraise.com


Free Printable Word Search
Read about James Whistler and then print a word search worksheet. It’s a great opportunity to review the things you have learned about the artist.

James Whistler Word Search from GardenofPraise.com


“Whistler’s Mother” Coloring Page
Print the “Whistler’s Mother” coloring page from EnchantedLearning.com. Right click to save the image to your desktop and then open it in a word document to print. EnchantedLearning.com provides you with printer friendly pages for a $20 per year membership fee, though the “Whistler’s Mother” coloring page is free to print if you follow these instructions.

“Whistler’s Mother” Coloring Page from EnchantedLearning.com – Children’s Educational Materials

Browse the Index for more great “The Art Student” resources

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2 Responses to “James Whistler | Homeschool Art Lesson Resources”


  1. […] Homeschool Art Lesson Resources Mary Cassett Paul Cezanne Albrecht Durer Jan Van Eyck Jean-Honore Fragonard Thomas Gainsborough Winslow Homer Henri Matisse Michelangelo Piet Mondrian Claude Monet Grandma Moses Georgia O’Keeffe Pablo Picasso Pierre-Auguste Renoir Norman Rockwell Georges Seurat James Whistler […]


  2. […] Homeschool Art Lesson Resources Mary Cassett Paul Cezanne Albrecht Durer Jan Van Eyck Jean-Honore Fragonard Thomas Gainsborough Winslow Homer Henri Matisse Michelangelo Piet Mondrian Claude Monet Grandma Moses Georgia O’Keeffe Pablo Picasso Pierre-Auguste Renoir Norman Rockwell Georges Seurat James Whistler […]


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