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The Whistler House Museum of Art will be CLOSED

on Friday, May 24th, and Saturday, May 25th, 2019

for Memorial Day Weekend.

Thank you!!

January 2016

Whistler and his butterfly

No one knows when James McNeill Whistler first used the butterfly as a signature in his paintings and prints. By the 1870's it had become a very important element in his works and he even used it as a decoration and signature on letters, notes and invitation cards. The butterfly symbol became so popular that people used to bring back paintings they had purchased before he started using the symbol so he could paint in on the ones they owned.

Whistler liked the effect of the butterfly because it resembled ideographs used in oriental works of art. (What is an ideograph? An ideograph or ideogram is a character or symbol which represents an idea or thing. Examples: $, %.)

ButterflySheet Image

Whistler used his butterfly both as a symbol for himself and as part of the design in his paintings and prints. Over the years, the butterfly design changed from simple to very complex and sometimes, Whistler added a stinging tail.

First Thursday

Come join us for the first Thursday of each month for an evening of music and arts. Admission is free and the event runs from 5-9pm. For more information about Downtown Lowell's First Thursdays check out their facebook page.

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