The Artworks of Phyllis Kluger
Mama Whistler, One Week Earlier


Most serious art lovers are familiar with James McNeill Whistler’s gravely austere painting, “Arrangement in Gray and Black,’ popularly called “Whistler’s Mother.”  What is not so well known is that in order to portray his beloved Mum as a genteel, dignified woman of advancing years, the artist had to rehabilitate her reputation as a closet roisterer. Just a week before she sat for her artist son, Mama Whistler, renowned for frequenting local taverns, was photographed in this rare pose as she rollickingly quaffed a six-pack of local brew in the back room while smoking cheap cigars in the company of some favored good ol’ boys.  Son James, of course, never knew of his mother’s recreational proclivities.  In need of a fee-free model for his next portrait, her adoring son rendered her as the starched, upright, solemn prude he supposed her to be. Sorry to disillusion you, Jimmy.
Seated figure 22 inches wide X 47 inches high X 31 inches deep including manufatured chair, shoes and socks; hand-knit, sewn and crocheted