The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895
Record 3 of 84

System Number: 09720
Date: 22 September 1894
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: New York
Repository: New York Public Library
Call Number: E. G. Kennedy I/53
Credit Line: Edward Guthrie Kennedy Papers / Manuscripts and Archives Division / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Document Type: ALS

110. Rue du Bac - Paris -

Sept. 22. 1894

My dear Mr. O. K. -

I am going to sit down and write you a letter in a few days about lots of things - but I have been perfectly given up to my lithographs which I am rapidly developing into something that I think you must acknowledge is far beyond the beginning - But I must get you off these 21 proofs of the new drawings[2] -

Also I enclose new price list - you will see that many of the old proofs you have already in stock will benefit you as they will no longer be had at the ridiculous old prices, which were foolishly [p. 2] built upon the absurd supposition representation that the "masses" would rush in and buy by the scores, works that might be offered them at prices within their grasp - Bosh! I am happy to say Bosh! - You know now as well as I do that I have fallen no nearer popularity than before - And that only the same small circle of collectors who buy the etchings, ask for my lithographs -

I do not therefore any longer propose to give them beautiful proofs on lovely old Dutch paper or rare Japanese at the absurd "cheap" rate of "prints for the people" -

Look now at the quality of these new things! Write and tell me what you think of them -

Don't they look like the most delicate drawings[3] out of a Museum? -

Now you might think soon of a show - The Fine Arts Society are dying to have one - & you should see the enthusiastic letter I had from .... little Browne[4]!! -

But not yet in London! ! I have other intentions that one [p. 3] of these days you will know of -

This must go at once -

You will see that the proofs have a little number in the left hand corner on the back, corresponding with the number on the "New List" - so that you should know the title -

You see also that of most of these I have only sent you two proofs - There are very few of all these printed as yet - about 25 of each - If you want more write soon -

Of course the newer ones will keep coming on -

I am taking up the printing of the Venice Etchings - and you are to have your signed "Doorway" - and "Beggars[5]" - Six of each is it? -

Off now! -

Lots of messages ! -

Always Sincerely Yrs

J McN Whistler -

Just sold one of the two larger Sea pieces you remember at the Champ de Mars[6] -

The "Violet & Blue[7]", one with the big wave - £420. Now only got the one other left! -

"Potter's Blue Wave[8]" has just been bought for £1000 -

[written in another hand:] 'J. McN. Whistler
Paris Sept. 22nd'

This document is protected by copyright.


'Sept. 22. 1894'

E. G. Kennedy Esq
868. Broadway -
New York -
U. S. A.
[postmark:] PARIS-80 / R. DU BAC / 3E 22 / SEPT / 94
[postmark on verso:] P.O.N.Y / PAID ALL / A / 10-4-94 / 2A
[postmark on verso:] D / 10-4-7a


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

2.  new drawings
Lithographs, such as La Robe rouge (C.107) and La Belle Dame endormie (C.108); see JW's letter to T. Way, 23 September [1894], #07423; JW's account, #13061; see also Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998.

3.  drawings
Double underlined.

4.  Browne
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more]. JW did eventually hold a show there, Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895.

5.  Doorway" - and "Beggars
The Doorway (K.188) and The Beggars (K.194) ; JW never finished printing these two etchings, and the edition was completed after his death by Frederick Goulding (1842-1909), printer and print-maker [more].

6.  Champ de Mars
4th Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894.

7.  Violet & Blue
Dark Blue and Silver (YMSM 412).

8.  Potter's Blue Wave
John Charles Potter (1854-1920), wallpaper manufacturer and collector [more], had sold Blue and Silver: Blue Wave, Biarritz (YMSM 41).