The Whistler Family

Dorothy Mona Whistler

Birth: 1906/7 in Jersey, Channel Islands

Father: Herbert Frederick Whistler

Mother: Blanche (Hasler) Whistler

1911: Jersey district, Jersey, Channel Islands: Dorothy Mona Whistler, daughter, is aged 4, born in Jersey


Herbert Frederick Whistler

Birth: 1869 in Sherborne St John, Hampshire, England

Father: John Whistler

Mother: Sarah Ann (Warhurst) Whistler

Married: Blanche Hasler

Occupation: School Master

Death: 1943

Will: Frederick's will was dated 20 November 1937, with a codicil added on 29 Janury 1943. It was on proved 2 April 1943. He bequeathed the property 2 St Clements Gardens to his son, Reginald Hector Whistler.


1871: Sherborne St John, Hampshire1881: Sherborne St John, Hampshire
1891: Little Thurrock, Essex: ? H. Whistler is aged 22, born in Basingstoke, Hampshire. His occupation is School Master.
1901: St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands: Frederick W. Whistler, boarder, is aged 31, born in England. His occupation is School Master
1911: Jersey district, Jersey, Channel Islands: Frederick Herbert Whistler, head, is aged 41, born in Sherborne St John, Hampshire


Reginald Hector Whistler

Hector Whistler
Hector Whistler, painting a mural at Vauxhall Gardens, London
"Princess Alice" by Hector Whistler
H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone by Hector Whistler (Oil on canvas, 1955)
"View of a Plantation House" by Hector Whistler
"View of a Plantation House" by Hector Whistler (Watercolour, 1962)
"Blue Boy" by Hector Whistler
"Blue Boy" by Hector Whistler
Birth: 22 January 1905 in Jersey, Channel Islands

Baptism: 26 February 1905 in Jersey, Channel Islands.
Charles Godfray Le Bas is named as his godfather.

Father: Herbert Frederick Whistler

Mother: Blanche (Hasler) Whistler

Education: Victoria College, Jersey, which he attended from 1915 until 1923, then at the London School of Architecture, and the Slade School of Art.

Occupation: Painter, muralist and illustrator, using the professional name of Hector Whistler.
Hector left Britain in 1948 and settled in Jamaica where he became influential in the West Indian art scene. As an illustrator he was most noted for his illiustration of The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope.

Shared Visions: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the University of the West Indies p86 (2002)
Hector Whistler
Born Jersey, Channel Islands, 1905.
Died 1978.
Attended classes at the Slade School of Art, University College, London. Persued a number of the prestigious commissions in Britain. Left Britain in 1948 and settled in Jamaica where the newly-instituted University College of the West Indies became the source of a number of commissions to portray the officials of the new University. Exhibited in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, in Paris and London.

The Times (London) 21 July 1934 p10
In commissioning Mr Hector Whistler to decorate their marine amusement hall, known as the Aero Cafe, with wall paintings, Messrs. Tomson and Wotton, of Ramsgate, have set an example which might well be followed, as adding both to gaiety and giving congenial employment to talented young artists. The work has been conceived and executed on the sound principle of 'rub it out and do it again'. That is to say, it was understood that the decorations were to be inexpensive in material and not intended to stand for more than a year or so. Since many opportunities of the kind are shirked from the double fear of expense and the judgment of posterity, this was a very wise provision - particularly in a place of amusement.
Instead of making elaborate preparations with canvas panels to be painted in 'solid oils' Mr Whistler has worked directly on the wall surface, part brick, part plaster, in cheap distemper colours, being paid a weekly wage while on the job. The building itself has the circumstantial interest of having been designed, presumably as an assembly hall, by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the Gothic revivalist, who was also responsible for the rather fussily gabled but internally spacious and comfortable Granville Hotel. Though not Gothic in style the cafe is Gothic in principle, being divided into five bays by semi-circular steel arches, with a steel ribbed apse at the eastern end. Primarily a dancing hall, it has a glass floor, illuminated from below, a small bathing pool, and a gallery. Under the gallery, on each of the long sides, there are recesses, and in them Mr Whistler, who has had the advantage over most painters of architectural training, has placed his principal subjects.
The general scheme is a light-hearted and freely executed summary of the history of Ramsgate, several of the scenes being suggested by the pageant which is now going on. They include Queen Elizabeth visiting Sandwich, Pitt descending from his carriage, and a contemporary cafe interior on one side, and the arrest of Wat Tyler, the Marina in 1880, the Marina in 1935 - being blown up - an 'abstract' marine composition, and a contemporary 'pub' interior on the other. These set subjects are linked together by an 'all over' pattern of arabesques and figures on the dividing piers. At the west end, which is broken by a window, there is a view of Old Ramsgate with shipping, a flight of gulls above, and denizens of the deep below; and flanking the apse end are two large mural paintings of stylized islands, with aircraft above, in isometric projection.
One of the most successful parts of the scheme is the treatment of the gallery staircase. This has freely curved handrails, and on the wall space above Mr Whistler has summed up their tendency in a 'Catherine wheel' design of concentric rings of colour throwing off spirals representing transport through the ages, from 1600 B.C. in Egypt down to 1934 in England. The work is delightfully free in execution, in a full range of colour, but with no colour in particular predominating on the general ground of light ochre. Above all the work is to be praised on general principles, as providing a truly creative opportunity without the undue solemnity and idea of permanency which too often strangles such commissions at the birth.

The Miami News 16 March 1952 p9-B
Hector Whistler's Pictures On View

  It should be fully understood that just as an artist is not always on an even keel, doing the same quality of work, neither is a critic always as receptive nor as open to impression especially when exhibits containing literally hundreds of paintings follow each other in close succession.
  In any case, this is one of the reasons I offer for failing to receive much reaction on visiting Hector Whistler's exhibit at the Eve Tucker Galleries. the other is, that as been previously reported, and as may be seen in the accompanying illustration, Mr. Whistler is primarily a mural painter, and to guage his stature as an artist from his current show is palpably unfair.
  That does not mean that there is not some good sound work to be seen in the exhibit. A few watercolors of palm trees are really fine, his heads of Jamaican natives are convincing and boldly handled and several series of original drawings for illustrations show him to be an accomplished draughtsman and one with a strong flair for good composition. But to judge a muralist by a group of sketches is like judging a concert pianist by hearing him play exercises.
  Last year, the artist sold to the Chicago Art Institute a series of watercolor drawings depicting the "History of Sugar and Rum" which it was hoped would have remained in Jamaica - but evidently no funds were available for the purchase.

Meriden Journal (Meriden, Connecticut) 11 September 1969 p16
Paintings, From Office Of President, In R.-J. Window
  On display this week in the Record-Journal window are two oil paintings owned by Mrs. Wayne C. Smith, president of The Meriden Record Company and executive editor of The Record and The Journal. these paintings were purchased in Barbados and are hanging in her office.
  Bajans, the customary name for people native to Barbados, are interesting people, unusually courteous and genially friendly. The portrait "Blue Boy" is of a typical young Bajan, the work of Hector Whistler, a relative (a cousin, we are told), of James Whistler, famous etcher in England and American painter best known for his "Whistler's Mother." Hector Whistler has lived in Barbados many years pleasing Bajans with his art and building a great reputation for his sensitive and vivid portrayals of local people, and also building a reputation in England for his artistry. This picture was purchased from Portobello, a private museum in Speightstown, where much of the Whistler work has been displayed and sold. In recent years Mr. Whistler has been so crippled by arthritis that he has turned to other media than oils to express his artistry. "Blue Boy" was probably the last of his portrait work and certainly the last remaining in Barbados as of the winter of 1969. The entire output of his earlier and productive years has been sent to England upon his request.

Notes: Reginald served in the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey, and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Light Infantry on 22 May 1926 (London Gazette 21 May 1926 p3277).

During the Second World War, Hector lived in Park Town, Oxford. A biography of Joan Gili describes how Joan "decided to move the Dolphin Bookshop away from the bombs to Oxford, to a studio in Park Town that had belonged to the flamboyant purple-waistcoated artist Hector Whistler."

A number of lovely (but unfortunately watermarked) pictures of Hector in Venice in 1958 can be found at the Bianconero-Venezia gallery website.

Death: 1978

1911: Jersey district, Jersey, Channel Islands: Reginald Hector Whistler, son, is aged 6, born in Jersey

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