The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Venice Pastels, The Fine Art Society, London, 1881
Record 6 of 49

System Number: 01118
Date: 8 December 1880
Author: Marcus Bourne Huish[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F49
Document Type: ALS

148, NEW BOND ST. W.

8th Decr 1880

Dear Mr Whistler

Mr. Way[2] told me yesterday - I presume with your authority that you did not wish the clause of our agreement carrying out whereby we have the option of purchasing the 12 plates[3] at £[7?]00.

The Board I may say are anxious to do [p. 2] this, but more in order to avoid any chance of disagreement than on any other account, as if they did so they would at once reduce both the price and the number of sets to be printed - & so their profit would not be so considerable as you mentioned

Supposing them to forego this I suppose there would be no difficulty in our coming to terms respecting the exhibition[4] & sale of the pastels.

As I told Mr Way we are committed to an exhibition, to open early [p. 3] in February in a new Gallery that we are taking - but we could promise you our present Gallery for 2 months from 1st January & that time should suffice to sell the pastels. As regards the time of exhibition we always find the two first months of the year very good for selling as there are no other exhibitions [p. 4] open where they sell works. The Old Masters & Grosvenor[5] not being of this nature.

In fact the best time of the year for us is when the Grosvenor is open -

If you think that this arrangement would suit you will you call on Friday morning between eleven thirty & one oc: [o'clock] & see if we can come to terms.

Yours fai[thfu]lly

Marcus B Huish

J A McN Whistler Esq.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

2.  Mr. Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

3.  12 plates
That is, Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

4.  exhibition
JW's exhibition Venice Pastels, The Fine Art Society, London, 1881 opened on 29 January.

5.  Old Masters & Grosvenor
Probably a reference to the loan exhibitions of Old Masters which had taken place at the Royal Academy every winter since 1870. The 5th Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1881 opened on 2 May.