The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1898
Record 3 of 87

System Number: 10659
Date: [October 1897?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Marion Farquhar[2]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/34/24
Document Type: ALS



Dear Mrs. Farquhar -

I am having the picture[3] photographed - so thats all right! - It is entirely because of my devotion to you! - for a work like this ought really never to be reproduced, and so engraved in history, as who should say, in a transitory and imperfect state. However your [p. 2] Mama[4] - to whom I beg that you will present my compliments - will I take it kindly give me back this intermediate misrepresentation of the Duchess - and the picture - when the beautiful lady is finished -

Then we will have it properly engraved - Now it must go to the Champ de Mars this time! so if you make your arrangements over the winter you will let me know something like a couple of weeks beforehand when you think you could be in London -

Pray tell your husband[5] that I rely upon him to bring you to the Studio -

You will be pleased to know that the famous white dress[6] is guaranteed perfectly new, and beautiful as when you first put it on!

With kindest regards to yourself and Mr Farquhar
Very Sincerely Yours

J McNeill Whistler

You will readily understand that I could not entrust the picture to the usual photographer - as we would have had it in all the illustrated papers! - before the time[7]!!

That is why it has taken an age to find the possible person!! -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [October 1897?]
Dated from the address, the reference to the Salon, and related correspondence between JW and Mrs Farquhar, especially #10640.

2.  Marion Farquhar
Marion Farquhar (b. ca 1872, m. 1897), née Peck [more].

3.  ALS
Written at right-angles to the printed address.

4.  picture
Portrait of Miss Marion Peck (YMSM 439), begun in March 1895 but never completed.

5.  Mama
Annah B. Peck (b. ca 1850), patron [more].

6.  husband
William Richman Farquhar (m. 1897), husband of Marion Farquhar [more].

7.  white dress
Pennell described Mrs Farquhar in the portrait posed 'in evening dress with her long white green lined cloak thrown back [...] the colour was a harmony in silver and green' (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 157). See also JW's letter to M. Farquhar, #09359.

8.  before the time
Double underlined. 'You will readily ... person' is written at right-angles to the main text, in the left-hand margin.