Whistler’s Mother, or Arrangement in Gray and Black was originally painted by James McNeill Whistler in 1871. The original painting is quite large at 56 x 64 inches. My parody with beer is 11 x 14 inches. The original painting is considered one of the best examples of American Victorian paintings done outside the USA. Whistler’s original painting is displayed and held in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France where it has lived since its purchase in 1891. This painting has been described as an American icon, as well as a Victorian Mona Lisa.
Whistler describes it as a composition of grays and form. He mentioned, of course, that since it is a painting of his mother, he has different emotions about it considering the content, but due to his formalist outlook on his painting he figured that other people would only be able to view it as a painting of grays and shapes. Ironically this image is looked at as an important icon for the adoration of parents, which is far from what the artist expected. It is such a strong icon that Americans have recreated it hundreds of times. It has been in three Simpsons episodes, as well as made into a postage stamp, and is also a larger than life sculpture at the Mother’s Memorial in Ashland, PA. I hope you find it humorous to see Whistler’s mother enjoying a pint while she rests. Obviously she is a huge fan of beer in my interpretation, as she also is the proud owner of a beer painting hanging on her wall.
Cheers to mothers everywhere! I think she’s drinking a glass of Mother Ale from Denali Brewing, or perhaps Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oscar Blues. Or you can imagine it to be your mother’s favorite brew.