The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Fair Women, Grafton Galleries, London, 1894
Record 1 of 19

System Number: 08287
Date: [10 December 1893][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALS[3]

110. Rue du Bac - Paris.

Sunday -

Dear Mr Thomson -

I have just read the enclosed - and I want you, at once, to write to the St. James' Gazette[4]:

Sir -

I beg to state on the part of Mr Whistler, that the "Sea piece[5]" by him, at present in our Gallery, referred to by your reviewer last week as "one of his earlier period", was painted in Brittany a few weeks ago.

I am, Sir, etc.
D. C. Thomson - Goupils / Manager

[p. 2] And see that it is put in directly - Of course they will be very courteous and well pleased to do so -

What are you asking for it? - I said Two hundred - net - for me -

I should think after this you would sell it - and mind you stipulate as Mr Whistler's condition to any one, a line in writing agreeing to let him have the picture once in every two years for inspection, that he may see to its state (whether well cared for, or neglected and requiring cleaning etc - ) and for purposes of Exhibition -

This last of course you could say I should not [at] all abuse - though I like my things seen abroad - and to begin with, I should certainly insist upon sending it to the Salon this next Spring - and doubtless meanwhile to the coming Grafton[6] -

As to the keeping in order - this naturally ought to be a source of great satisfaction to the owner - Besides you remember the shocking state of grime and absolute danger in which we found many of the works at the time of the Exhibition in Bond Street - The owners themselves were not, I can almost believe, aware of this -

I hear that things are "very bad" in Glasgow[7]! How did you get on? And why[8] do you always drag about these pictures of Potters[9]?? Why? Why? Why!!!

[p. 3] It annoys me very much to think that works of that distinction should be hawked in this persistent way from one end of the land to the other!

Do send them back to him - and occupy yourself with matters more proper to both of us! -

What other news?

I hope you will let me know at once that it is all right about your letter -

Very sincerely,

J McN. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [10 December 1893]
Dated from Thomson's reply on 12 December 1893, #05795.

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

3.  ALS
'69B' is written in another hand in red ink at top left, and '123' in pencil at bottom right of p. 1.

4.  St. James' Gazette
The letter was published in the St James' Gazette on 12 December 1893, see #05795.

5.  Sea piece
Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers (YMSM 413).

6.  Grafton
Fair Women, Grafton Galleries, London, 1894.

7.  Glasgow
[Exhibition], Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Goupil Gallery, London, at Wellington Studios, Glasgow, 1893.

8.  why
Triple underlined.

9.  Potters
John Gerald Potter (1829-1908), wallpaper manufacturer and patron [more], had owned Blue and Silver: Blue Wave, Biarritz (YMSM 41), Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf (YMSM 54) and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115).