The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: 3rd Exhibition, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1901
Record 6 of 9

System Number: 00749
Date: [26/30 October 1901?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: John James Cowan[2]
Place: Glasgow
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C250
Document Type: ALd[3]

[monogram in roundel:] WH


My dear Cowan -

I am staying here with Heinemann[4] for a week or so after a bout in bed with cold & fog & the depression of the most respectable hotel[5] in London upon me! -

Of course I have been very busy with the Exhibition[6] here - and thus we have been lying low for Master Reid[7]! - Also I have rather thought I might have heard from you at any minuit [sic] - for I understood that you were going to write if you went to Glasgow -

Well now, my dear Cowan, I think we have got these scoundrels pretty well entangled - and the time has come when the net should be pulled! -

The girl in red with red background, Reid offered you long ago, we have stopped in London - and the second "Alice Butt"[8] - that is the head like the one you purchased - we have arrested, and so forced Reid to take action!

He has served a writ on the dealer[9] here to whom he had sent the picture to be shown a client - and this dealer will withdraw from the contest by [p. 2] interpleader, and so leave Mr Reid to attack me which is where we wait for him! -

And now is the moment for you - And it is very simple - and what in your place I should be most eager to do - I want you to write to Reid that you [...]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [26/30 October 1901?]
Dated by references to paintings; this may be a draft of a part of JW's letter to J. J. Cowan on 30 October [1901], #00751. JW's address is slightly unclear since he has crossed out Heinemann's address but says that he is staying with him.

2.  John James Cowan
John James Cowan (1846-1936), paper manufacturer and collector [more].

3.  ALd
Unfinished letter written at right-angles to printed address.

4.  Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

5.  respectable hotel
JW had been staying at Garlant's Hotel, Suffolk Stree, Pall Mall.

6.  Exhibition
3rd Exhibition, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1901, which opened on 7 October.

7.  Master Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more]. Reid seems to have received works stolen from JW's studio in Paris before July 1901 (see JW to J. J. Cowan, #00746). Cowan had purchased Alice Butt (2) (YMSM 438) and The Bridesmaid (YMSM 487) from him in April 1900 for £450 and £135 respectively but later became suspicious of the signature. JW also believed that the pictures had been worked on by someone else (J. J. Cowan to JW, #00752).

8.  Alice Butt
Alice Butt (1) (YMSM 437) also turned up in Reid's hands (see Cowan and JW's correspondence, #00745, #00746).

9.  dealer
Possibly Charles Hessele (fl. 1892-1914), print dealer [more], or Alexandre Bernheim (1839-1915), Paris art dealer [more].