Edward Guthrie Kennedy, ca. 1895
William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916)
Oil on canvas; 22 x 17 7/8 in. (55.9 x 45.4 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz, 1973 (1973.342)
Born in Ireland, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849–1932) immigrated to the United States at age eighteen. After a decade in the art business in Boston, he joined the New York art gallery Wunderlich and Company, which later became Kennedy Galleries. In 1916, he resigned from the gallery to devote himself to collecting cloisonnÉ enamels and Japanese robes, which he later gave to the Metropolitan Museum. By 1895, when Chase exhibited this portrait at the National Academy of Design, the two men were friends and professional associates. Kennedy served as an intermediary between Chase and Whistler, who had a falling out in 1885 over the portrait that Chase painted of Whistler in London (18.22.2).