Artist: G. W. Waters (American, 1832-1912)
Title: Walt Whitman
Dimensions: 27″ x 22″
Location in Library: First floor
Media: Oil on canvas
Owner: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artist’s Estate
Description: Walt Whitman’s friend and benefactor John H. Johnston commissioned G. W. Waters to paint this portrait of Whitman, who by 1877 was one of America’s most celebrated poets. Waters, best known for his New York landscapes, captures Whitman as he is most often remembered: as the “good gray poet.”
In 1955, Professor John Valente and his colleagues in the Brooklyn College English Department scraped together $1400 to buy both this portrait and the earlier Whitman portrait by Charles Hine.