The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Document associated with: Loan Collection of Pictures, Corporation of London Art Gallery, Guildhall, London, 1894
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 07234
Date: [May/June 1894][1]
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1222
Document Type: ALS


[scroll:] H. WUNDERLICH & CO.
H W & CO.
868 B'WAY N- Y-

Sunday 189       

Dear Mr. Whistler

Supplementary to my p. c.[4] I send you from the Pall Mall Gazette the list of "Gentlemen & Scholars" who have been elevated to titles or ribbons or garters or some such thing.

Whistler will be no Greater if he secures the iron cross or any other decoration. Indeed make him the Duke of anything, & he would most likely make a poor duke & fall off in his painting! You can make lots of dukes, but as to making painters - hum! But this is an old story & I set out merely to express my admiration for your [p. 2] masterly portrait of Miss Alexander[5]. I take off my hat Sir, & salute you. It is a great piece of painting & most lovely in Colour and arrangement. Don't explode now, and say "They are all like that". They're not. All Whistler's are fine or interesting, but some are better than others & this is one of them. I look in vain around the walls of the Guild-hall for such a piece of painting. There, what do you think of that?

To what end then, to bother with crosses and ribbons? Roland Knoedler[6] is a Knight of the Legion of honour or some such thing - a mere money-maker! Why should a man of genius bother with millinery of this kind which is of no use to him?

Now there is a picture I would like to have, that of Miss Alexander.

There is one more standing, I think [p. 3][7] you said, to finish the portrait of O'K[8]. Will it suit you if I should be in Paris at the time I mentioned, about the Second week in June?

I presume you have seen Thompson[9] by this time, who told me he was going to see you.

I have not seen any of the exhibitions yet, but will come over to France fully charged with information (?) concerning them.

I trust that the ladies[10] are in good health, & that this Sunday afternoon is conducive to comfort in the garden. Cold and showery here.

Your friends the cabmen are yet [p. 4] on strike & consuming as much beer as they can.

Excuse this scraggly letter, but I could not rest until I expressed to you my admiration of the portrait.

With best regards, believe me
Yours Sincerely,

E. G. Kennedy.

Garlants' Hotel
Suffolk St.
Pall Mall
S. W.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [May/June 1894]
Dated from the reference to an exhibition.

2.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

G. Dieterlen, employee at H. Wunderlich and Co., New York.

4.  p. c.
That is, a post card.

5.  Miss Alexander
Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129), exhibited at the Loan Collection of Pictures, Corporation of London Art Gallery, Guildhall, London, 1894.

6.  Roland Knoedler
Roland F. Knoedler, art dealer. JW himself had been made an Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in January 1892.

7.  [p. 3]
The printed address header is repeated at the top of p. 3 as on p. 1.

8.  the portrait of O'K
Portrait of E. G. Kennedy (2) (YMSM 404).

9.  Thompson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

10.  the ladies
Beatrix Whistler, and probably Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more], and her daughters.