The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: International Exhibition, South Kensington Museum, London, 1872
Record 7 of 9

System Number: 09020
Date: [May 1872][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Alan Summerly Cole[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 8/460
Document Type: TLc/Ms[3]

[1872 ?[4] March or April : A. C's memorandum]

2 Lindsey Houses,


Dear Allan [sic] -

I am sorry that I cant dine with you to-day. Some evening though this week I will look you up either before or after dinner and have a cigarette with you - and tell you all about the White Girl[5].

Ever yours

J. McN. Whistler[6]

I went to the Academy[7] yesterday and so got your telegram[8] too late to answer -

Remember Sunday[9] in any case.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [May 1872]
According to A. S. Cole's memorandum, as noted by the Pennells (see below) the letter should be dated March or April 1872. However, the reference to the Royal Academy places it in May at the earliest, when the exhibition opened.

2.  Alan Summerly Cole
Alan Summerly Cole (1846-1934), textile expert and museum official [more].

3.  TLc/Ms
Original not located. It was lent by A. S. Cole to E. R. and/or J. Pennell for transcription. A partial transcription of the letter, described as '1 p, 12mo', was published in sale catalogue, G. J. C. Grasberger, Philadelphia, c. 1926, p. 10, lot 17.

4.  '[1878 ... memorandum]'
Typescript note made by the Pennells and 'A. C's memorandum' added in Ms.

5.  White Girl
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), which JW had hoped to finish for the International Exhibition, South Kensington Museum, London, 1872 (see #09021, #09011). A note in A. S. Cole's diary for 15 April 1872 records that JW called on the evening of 15 April 'about his picture for the Exhibition (The White Girl)' (see #13132).

6.  J. McN. Whistler
At this period, JW's signature was almost certainly J. A. McN. Whistler.

7.  Academy
JW exhibited Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) at the 104th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1872.

8.  telegram
Not located.

9.  Sunday
A. S. Cole attended several of JW's 'Sunday breakfasts'.