The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 21st Autumn Exhibition of Pictures, Corporation of Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1891
Record 12 of 21

System Number: 06599
Date: [18 August 1891][1]
Author: JW
Place: Liverpool
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W592
Document Type: ALS

[Liverpool coat of arms, and motto:] DEUS NOBIS HAEC OTIA FECIT



The shoestring in the shower bath, Chinkie, is very funny! but where did the shower bath itself come from? -

I shall certainly have lots to tell you when I get back - and must keep all "dittles" for our own dinners - Meanwhile as the time approaches, I am rather perturbed about tomorrows festival! - I do wish my own Luck that you were here to help me - You must do the great Obi[3] for me - and try hard that all may come off without blunder or want of sympathy -

I get on with Melville[4] very [p. 2] well - indeed I could not have got on without him -

This I suppose you will understand to mean that I have been properly flattered and so have melted!

Well not quite that - but he is not at all the bad fellow we were prepared to take for granted - and two of his pictures here are really full of much that is most artistic and of the same sympathetic stuff I was first attracted by in the two watercolours I saw of his long ago in the Academy -

I could frankly say that I liked them immensely - and so would you Chinky -

Then he has certainly been excellent in his appreciation of my own room - and done me a first rate turn in the placing of my own picture -

I will tell you about it by and bye -

Well the B.[5] looks I think all right - and perhaps - but only perhaps - runs a chance of staying in the Provinces - We shall see! -

Jacomb Hood[6], by the way, I have managed to hang very well - and the little one of Steer's[7] that we saw together in Walter Sickerts[8] studio - a Music Hall with a tiny girl dancing on the stage - I have placed in my room - Another thing he sent, a Monet[9] kind of landscape, is infamous and I had a mind to turn it out - However it will be put somewhere - but perhaps I may tell him when ins what a risk it ran! -

Tomorrow Chinkie you had better send no letter unless I wire - I would like much to get off by the night train - but perhaps it might be rather burning my ships if I were obliged to leave the Club dinner abruptly? - "umph?" -

Never again though Chinkie! - never again must my Luck send me adrift like this - giving me every chance [p. 3] of getting into mischief - and wearying myself with things that dont matter -

Yes I have seen the Van Beers' letters[10]! - What an unmitigated Ass! -

We are to have seven of his pictures yet - and we mean if possible to thrust them in among the Academicians - his own lot -     You see my wickedness has yet been not spent itself in the worn out method of maliciously "skying" the enemy - "Quite other"! as you may well imagine! -

And now my dear dear Luck again Goodnight! -

I have telegraphed to Robertson[11] - Do be careful about seeing him!! You had better be out -

Love to Bunnie[12] - she left out my poor little razor strop!!   -   Oh dont forget to make William[13] take on the room in Flood Street for another week -

Your fond

[butterfly signature]

I am so[14] glad about the fish[15] -
What about the Windy[16]?

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [18 August 1891]
Dated by reference to a dinner held on the following day, 19 August 1891.

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

3.  Obi
A voodoo incantation or ritual, originating in Africa: JW presumably means a prayer.

4.  Melville
Arthur Melville (1855-1905), watercolour painter [more]. He was with JW on the Hanging Committee for 21st Autumn Exhibition of Pictures, Corporation of Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1891.

5.  B.
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

6.  Jacomb Hood
George Percy Jacomb Hood (1857-1929), genre painter and graver [more].

7.  Steer's
Philip Wilson Steer (1860-1942), painter [more].

8.  Walter Sickerts
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

9.  Monet
Claude Monet (1840-1926), artist [more].

10.  Van Beers' letters
Jan van Beers (1852-1927), artist [more].

11.  Robertson
Walford Graham Robertson (1867-1948), painter, designer and collector [more].

12.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

13.  William
William Bell, JW's secretary [more].

14.  I am so
The remainder is written in the left margin at right angles to the main text.

15.  fish
Etchings of fish which Beatrix Whistler was completing for possible publication by Heinemann or W. E. Henley: B. Whistler, Goldfish (z226) (see #13329 and #10582).

16.  Windy
B. Whistler, Holme Memorial Window (z224), a memorial window to Mrs Holme's daughter, erected in the church at Orton in Cumbria (see MacDonald, Margaret F., Beatrice Whistler Artist and Designer, Glasgow, 1997).