The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 3rd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1879
Record 9 of 18

System Number: 09200
Date: [3 May 1879][1]
Author: Maud Franklin[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas[3]
Place: Paris
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 28 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS[4]

My Dear Mr Lucas,

I write because the show[5] is so frightfully afire that Whistler cant [sic] -. The place is full of men in possession & the sale[6] is fixed for the 13th. You had better come over and buy.

This is only a line to thank you[7] - [p. 2] We will send you more particulars soon.

Whistler sent you the book[8] he promised a day or two ago. Have you received it?

I am very glad to say he is in capital spirits, and all the papers speak exceedingly well of the pictures in the Grosvenor[9] - I have one or two Etchings[10] that I shall have much pleasure in sending you as soon as things are a little smoother.

With kindest regards from both, to yourself & Madame[11] & many things to Monsieur Eugene[12].

Very Sincerely Yours

Maude Franklin


We should like very much to get a line from you.

This document is protected by copyright.


'Whistler[13]. 3rd May 1879'

Monsieur George Lucas
21 Rue de l'arc de Triomphe
Barrière de l'Etoile
[postmark:] CHELSEA SW / 4 2 / MY 5 / 79
[postmark on verso:] PARIS / illegible]


1.  [3 May 1879]
Dated from Lucas's note on envelope. 3 May was a Saturday.

2.  Maud Franklin
Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more].

3.  George Aloysius Lucas
George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more].

4.  ALS
Published in Mahey, John A., 'The Letters of James McNeill Whistler to George A. Lucas,' Art Bulletin, XLIX, September 1967, pp. 247-57.

5.  show
A reference to the fraught state of JW's financial and personal affairs. JW's financial problems reached crisis point in the aftermath of Whistler v Ruskin. He was declared bankrupt a few days later, on the 9 May (see bankruptcy papers, #08895, 11711). Maud herself had recently given birth to a daughter, Maud McNeill Whistler Franklin.

6.  sale
An auction sale of JW's effects, including paintings, etchings and drawings took place at the White House on 7 May 1879.

7.  thank you
Maud and JW had recently been in Paris (see JW to G. A. Lucas, #09201) and Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, vol. 2, p. 472.

8.  book
Whistler, James McNeill, Whistler v. Ruskin: Art and Art Critics, London, 1878, published in the aftermath of JW's libel suit, Whistler v Ruskin.

9.  Grosvenor
3rd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1879. JW exhibited works including Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190) and Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203) in the show.

10.  Etchings
For the last few months, JW had been printing and selling etchings to the Fine Art Society including Fulham (K.182) and more recently, Old Putney Bridge (K.178). JW may have been planning to offer one of these to Lucas.

11.  Madame
Octavie Josephine de Macedo-Carvalho (1833-1909), née Marchand, probable mistress of George A. Lucas [more].

12.  Monsieur Eugene
Eugène José de Macedo-Carvalho (1854-1928), son of Octavie Josephine de Macedo-Carvalho [more].

13.  Whistler ... 1879
Note written in Lucas's hand at right-angles to the main text on the envelope.