Did West Point Make James Whistler the (Ornery) Man He Was?

“If anything betrays Whistler’s military background, it is his conception of the artist’s life as a series of frequent engagements with the enemy – hostile critics, backward-looking institutions, uncomprehending patrons, philistines in general. … Was Whistler just as belligerent toward his art as he was with the wider world into which he sent it? You might think so, judging from reports of how he went about making it.”