The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895
Record 13 of 84

System Number: 02959
Date: 27 October [1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Lyme Regis, Dorset
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 3/23
Document Type: ALS


Royal Lion Hotel 'Lyme Regis' -

Oct 27 -

Dear Mr. Huish

Your letter[4] is very nice -

Indeed I am sorry to be such a trouble to you all -

The truth is as I am sure you will have guessed, every thing is difficult for me at this time - & I shrink from almost any engagement.

Much moving about has necessitated much leaving behind in the way of work unfinished - & wherever I go I cannot help becoming entangled with new work - all of which has to be accomplished -

An exhibition[5] may be advisable at this moment - & I am urged to it on all sides - but [p. 2] the possible glory of a tolerable show of lithographs in the face of Burlington House[6] & Goulding[7] combined is not sufficient to tempt me - The chatter of papers & all that, I have but little thought for - No - the money is the only excuse for my entertaining any proposition of a public kind - At this moment I ought to be far away - & not down here of all places in the world! But I must bring something away with me - If then I listen to you instead of putting my hands in my ears, I must put my hands into the Coffers of the Society -

So now what is the most you can do?

Of course there can be no question of buying the stones - On the other hand 25- per cent will never do - 15. percent seems to me right - Then you have all the gate money which I suppose you think will be pretty good -

[p. 3] I dont know what to say about the tirage -

The prices certainly might be altered for certainly it is absurd that these works of mine should be so disproportionately cheap -

The proofs are on beautiful Dutch or Japanese paper just like the Etchings - & then also my things are dear - & it is high time they should be mo /

As to the exclusive sale for a time - that we might get at - The net price I dont quite understand -

Well I suppose the only way [p. 4] out of it, is, as you propose, for Mr Brown[8] to run down here for an evening, bringing the price list, I once sent him, with him - and a sort of detailed paper -

This we might go through together, & he could get back the next morning -

Tuesday or Wednesday would suit me - I wouldn't make it later - and the one o'clock train from Waterloo via Axminster[9] the best - If he comes on Tuesday you might wire -

Very faithfully

J McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  27 October [1895]
Year date from address. JW worked at the seaside town of Lyme Regis between September and December 1895. 'Lyme Regis' has been inserted in pencil in another hand before the date.

2.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

3.  (ii)
Added in pencil in another hand at the top of pp. 1 and 3.

4.  letter
Huish's letter of 26 October 1895, #01301.

5.  exhibition
JW's exhibition Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895 opened in December.

6.  Burlington House
The building of the Royal Academy.

7.  Goulding
Frederick Goulding (1842-1909), printer and print-maker [more].

8.  Mr Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more]. Brown did not make it to Lyme Regis until the following Monday, 4 November (see M. B. Huish to JW, 30 October 1895, #01302 and [3 November 1895], #02957).

9.  Axminster
The nearest railway town, five miles north-west of Lyme Regis.