The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: 2nd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1892
Record 7 of 8

System Number: 00001
Date: [10/25 January 1893?][1]
Author: Edwin Austin Abbey[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler A1
Document Type: ALS

[Oval picture of the hotel]



My dear Whistler -

[Drawing of a man bowed to the floor, holding his head in his hands]

I have not replied to your inquiring note[3] simply because I did not like to confess defeat - and hoped to be able to tell you that I had at least succeeded with the Glasgow corporation - From the other happy owners of your works - I have nothing to show but a large collection of Spurns!

[p. 2] - Pained surprise being the principal note - John S.[4] tried his hand with no better success -

I was determined to have the 'Carlyle[5]' - and after I rec'd my first gentle snub - I wired from for letters from higher sources - and these drew a more complaisant reply from the Glasgow folk - who however demanded a policy for £2 000 - in an English company - This I could not get for less than 9 guineas per cent! - and as Reid[6] had insured his three[7] for £3 000 apiece - and as your other owners - had also valued their possessions at large figures - the committee on finance refused to accede to the Glasgow demands - And I am more than sorry [p. 3] - if I were a richer man than God knows I am - I'd have taken the risk myself -

Ives[8] writes me that you are well represented however - - Your old 'White girl[9]' is there and I understand that all the owners in America have sent what you asked for -

I shall call at the foot of your lighthouse in the rue du Bac - and am most anxious to hear about Boston - and if it may be - to see, if there is anything we may see -

ever yours faithfully

Edwin A. Abbey.

Mme.[10] is with me - and I may not be able to call today - but surely will tomorrow -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [10/25 January 1893?]
This letter discusses loans to World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893, and must therefore date from early 1893. It probably followed either JW to Abbey #03182 (9 January 1893) and/or #03183 ([10] January 1893).

2.  Edwin Austin Abbey
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), painter and illustrator [more]. See his earlier letter (#09702).

3.  your inquiring note
Possibly #03182 or #03183.

4.  John S.
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), artist [more].

5.  Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137).

6.  Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more].

7.  his three
La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50), Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181), and Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

8.  Ives
Halsey Cooley Ives (1847-1911), painter [more].

9.  White girl
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), if exhibited, is not in the catalogue.

10.  Mme.
Mary Gertrude Abbey (d. 1931), née Meade [more].