The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1887
Record 12 of 23

System Number: 09609
Date: [May 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: [Thomas Waldo Story?][2]
Place: [unknown]
Repository: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York
Call Number: 54.1297
Credit Line: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York
Document Type: ALS

[circular crest with lion:] SBA



I have just come back from Paris - and at the last moment, as I was packing my bag in a frenzy of haste and procrastination, discovered that your little sister[3] was in the same hotel! -

I had but a peep at her - and found her charming - as sheyour sister should be! -

We are all going to peices [sic] without you -

[p. 2] It is all very well to manage British Artists[4] - and even to take possession of foreign Galleries[5] - but I am entirely to [sic] weak to struggle with sentimental picture dealers - and Dowdeswell[6] is becoming every day more affectionate and dangerous! -

Do come back - or nothing will be left of me for the Goupil and Wells & Co[7]! -

Also who shall I talk to at all while you are away? - We miss you moreover because you are delightful and that is of the rarest importance -

Endless things to tell you -

I wonder indeed how you could leave us! -

Even the weather has no conduct at all since you have gone from among us - and the winds are without control and blackness is before us at this very moment -

May is a sad fraud in Bond Street without you! -

Mr Thomson[8] is filled with amiability and mystery! -

Shall I tell you that my success meanwhile in Paris is really 'amazing'? - [p. 3] It is do you know! - and much is to be made of it - when you are here -

Voila -

The D'Oyley Cartes[9] are talking of my going over this October - or perhaps September - (?) - What do youthe people say? and what do you say of them ? -

A bientot - n'est ce pas?[10] and, after you have changed your bill of fare, may your journey back be a bright one!

We are all waiting to welcome you

Always devotedly

[butterfly signature][11]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  May [1887?]
Dated by reference to May, exhibition in Paris, and US tour (see below).

2.  [Thomas Waldo Story?]
Thomas Waldo Story (1854-1915), sculptor [more]. The tone of the letter suggests it is to Story, one of the closest of JW's friends. However, it could be to a woman, such as Mary Bacon Ford, née Martin, art agent [more].

3.  little sister
Not identified.

4.  British Artists
JW was President of the SBA.

5.  Galleries
JW was exhibiting 50 works at Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1887.

6.  Dowdeswell
Charles William Dowdeswell (1832-1915), art dealer [more].

7.  Goupil and Wells & Co
Goupil, or Messrs Boussod, Valadon and Cie, were art dealers who began at this time to deal with JW.

8.  Mr Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

9.  D'Oyley Cartes
Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901), impresario and property developer [more], and Helen Lenoir (1852-1913), née Coupar Black, actress and stage manager [more]. They were hoping to arrange a lecture tour of the States for JW but it was postponed indefinitely.

10.  A bientot - n'est ce pas?
Fr., until we meet again, right?

11.  [butterfly signature]
Written at top of p. 1.