The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Royal Jubilee Exhibition, Manchester, 1887
Record 5 of 9

System Number: 03983
Date: [16/18 April 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: G. William Agnew[2]
Place: [Manchester]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M255
Document Type: ALS

[circular crest with lion:] SBA



Dear Sir -

As you have been doubtless advised from Bond Street, the portrait of Carlyle, the Nocturne, and the 12 Etchings[3] have been sent on to Manchester -

Also the sizes of the two other pictures: The Portrait of my Mother, & the Lady Archibald Campbell[4], were telegraphed to the Committee yesterday -

The paintings themselves [p. 2] I have done my utmost to obtain, but owing to absence of everyone during these vexing hollidays [sic], it has been impossible -

Tomorrow I trust that I shall have finally got them and that they will at once go on to you at the Galleries -

I have only to regret greatly the trouble that, owing to this contretemps, I have given to the Gentlemen of the Committee, and to say that I beg they will have no hesitation in sending back to me all my works if, because of this delay, they are unable to place them as it was stated in the Chairman's first letter to me, they should be, "hung singly - with a space between each, - and every thing on the line."

Indeed I trust that Mr William Agnew[5] & yourself will believe that I am keenly alive to all the kind care and courtesy you have extended to me in this matter, and I beg that you will convey to the Committee my apologies and thanks -

I have the honour to be dear Sir
Your obedient Servant

J McNeill Whistler

G. W. Agnew. Esq -
Hon. Secretary -

The names for Catalogue - are:
No. 1. "Arrangement in Grey & Black, Portrait of the Painter's Mother" -
No. 2. "Nocturne in Black & Gold - The falling rocket"
No. 3. "Arrangement in Black No. 8 - Portrait of the Lady Archibald Campbell."
No. 4. "Arrangement in Grey & Black No. 2 - Portrait of Thomas Carlyle" -

The names of the [p. 3] Etchings are on the backs of the frames -

The pictures will, I am afraid, reach you in a very dirty or dingy state, and I entrust them to your kind care - hoping that when they are hung - if as I have explained they be in time for hanging, - you will have them cleaned and varnished -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [16/18 April 1887?]
The sequence of letters regarding the Manchester Jubilee exhibition is confusing, but this letter appears to date from after JW's letter to M. B. Huish (#02979) and before that from G. W. Agnew to JW, 18 April 1887 (#03984).

2.  G. William Agnew
George William Agnew (1852-1941), art dealer[more]. JW's letter is addressed to G. W. Agnew, who was Hon. Secretary of the Manchester Jubilee Committee, rather than to William Agnew, who was Chairman.

3.  portrait of Carlyle, the Nocturne, and the 12 Etchings
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), and Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

4.  Portrait of my Mother, & the Lady Archibald Campbell
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), and Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

5.  William Agnew
William Agnew (1825-1910), art dealer [more].