As per the usual terms of deaccessioning, money earned in the sales will go into the Rosenbach's acquisitions fund to be used for being new art. Derick Dreher, the museum's director, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the decision to sell was made back in October. The Greaves works were acquired in 1911 by Philip H. Rosenbach, an art dealer who founded the museum with his brother, A.S.W. Rosenbach. According to Dreher, Rosenbach spent the next 30 years trying to sell the paintings but he had bought them at a high point and was never able to get a return on his investment.
Walter Greaves met Whistler around 1863 and Whistler took on Greaves and his older brother as studio assistants. The Greaves brothers taught Whistler how to row, he encouraged them to draw and paint. Greaves made many portraits of Whistler including the image shown at right, showing a dandified Whistler on the widow's walk at his house in Lindsey Row, Chelsea. Greaves achieved some level of notoriety and had several exhibitions but fell into disfavor and died in poverty. The painting shown at right is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.