The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1878
Record 7 of 11

System Number: 08738
Date: 12 September 1878
Author: Edward William Godwin[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 4/13
Document Type: ALS

'12 Sepr 1878'[2]


Sep. 12th 78.

My dear Old Man/

Do not be rash - Nightingales claims[3] have been minutely examined by the Surveyor[4] & myself & we have not been deceived -

Am so sorry you couldnt come this evening. Watt[5] is so proud of his Princess-Purchaser[6] that he has done his Scotland this season

Ever yours

E W Godwin

[p. 2] 'Various[7] - Godwin's No. 1.'

[butterfly signature x 2]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward William Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more] of JW's studio house at Tite Street, the White House. This is a reply to JW's letter of the previous day (#01748).

2.  '12 Sepr 1878'
Date written in JW's hand at right-angles in right-hand margin.

3.  Nightingales claims
Benjamin Ebenezer Nightingale (b. 1838), builder [more] of the White House. The previous spring work on the house was interrupted by a dispute with the London Metropolitan Board of Works. The Board insisted that JW and Godwin introduce decorative details into the original design of the house before they would grant a lease. JW, already stricken financially, was furious with Nightingale over his claim for the cost of these additions (some £900) and in a previous letter to Godwin, expressed his intention to seek legal redress (see JW to E. W. Godwin, #01748). Nightingale, on the other hand, was impatient for settlement of the account (see G. & W. Webb to JW, #08735).

4.  Surveyor
Perhaps George John Vulliamy (1817-1886), Superintending Architect with the Metropolitan Board of Works, London [more].

5.  Watt
William Watt (d. 1885), of William Watt and Co., art furniture makers [more].

6.  Princess-Purchaser
A reference to the purchaser of Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Butterfly Cabinet (YMSM 195), a fireplace with shelves above designed by Godwin and decorated by JW for Watt. Watt displayed it at the Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1878. (See also E. W. Godwin to JW, #08736).

7.  Various ... No. 1
Note in JW's hand. It probably relates to his bankruptcy proceedings.