The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: World, The (London)
Record 7 of 168

System Number: 08161
Date: [1/18 June 1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Walter Theodore Watts-Dunton[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 3/25/1
Document Type: ALS

'Whistler to Watts-Dunton'[3]

'circa 1879'[5]

Way[6] seems to think it possible to get out the big stone[7] (he carried off this evening with him) for this very Wednesday - day after tomorrow! - Hadn't you better see him tomorrow morning the first thing and learn whether you can rely upon it - and then instead of announcing me for Wednesday week, write a wee little paragraph simply to receive this my first "Note in Black and White[8]" and I will meet you at the Chancery Lane Place [p. 2] Tooks Court I mean - and we can fire off the first number[9] - to be then regularly followed - Miss Grant[10] will [be] rejoiced by my energetic espousal of her cause - and all will merrily go!

Now about The May Fair - The letter[11] ought to [be] published in full - either in Pic[cadilly][12] or perhaps the World[13] - but I ought to see you tomorrow

I am going to Mrs Duncan Stewarts[14] to lunch - you might come there (No. 101 - Sloane Street) at 3 o'clock tomorrow and the whole thing could be settled -

Goodnight -

[butterfly signature]

96. Cheyne Walk -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [1/18 June 1878]
Dated by references to the publication of a letter in Mayfair, 18 June 1878 (see below).

2.  Walter Theodore Watts-Dunton
Walter Theodore Watts (later Watts-Dunton) (1832-1914), solicitor, novelist and poet [more]. Watts was editor of the short-lived weekly Piccadilly: Town and Country Life, which was launched in May 1878.

3.  'Whistler to Watts-Dunton'
Pencil note at right-angles in the right-hand margin.

4.  '22'
Added in another hand on left.

5.  'circa 1879'
Added in another hand on right.

6.  Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

7.  stone
Lithographic stones prepared by Thomas Way. His son, Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more], said JW brought two new chalk drawings done on brown paper, Old Battersea Bridge (M.700) and The Tall Bridge (M.701), to their Wellington Street Office, 'and there and then drew them on a fresh stone. "The Long Bridge" and "The Tall Bridge" were at once printed.' (Way, Thomas Robert, Memories of James McNeill Whistler, the Artist, London and New York, 1912, p. 19).

8.  Note in Black and White
JW used a title emphasizing colour over subject, as he had done for his paintings after 1865.

9.  first number
JW's lithotint, The Broad Bridge (C.11), was published in Piccadilly, no. 8, on 4 July 1878, followed by The Toilet (C.10), on 11 July, in Piccadilly, no. 9. The Tall Bridge (C.12), intended as a supplement to the 25 July issue, and Early Morning (C.9), drawn on the same stone as The Toilet (C.10), were printed but never published, after the journal ceased publication.

10.  Miss Grant
Miss Grant, a friend of T. Watts-Dunton.

11.  The May Fair - The letter
Some weeks earlier a humorous story had appeared in Mayfair about a picture by JW being hung upside down. Entering into the spirit of this, on 6 June 1878 Piccadilly published a letter from 'A Brother Artist' (see #13731) complaining that Mayfair maligned a fine and typical painting by JW, 'a dull green piece of canvas, with a white streak across the middle'. JW's letter to the Editor of Mayfair was published on 18 June (#13177; see also a draft at #04030) and finally on 25 June Mayfair published "The 'Upside-Down Picture'" with two reproductions and letters from three of the forty-four people who claimed to own it (Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, p. 28, B. 7).

12.  Pic[cadilly]
Piccadilly: Town and Country Life, a weekly magazine launched by Watts in May 1878, failed financially after the 11 July issue (see #11136).

13.  World
A letter from JW to The World was published on 10 July 1878 (#11383) but it was on a different subject.

14.  Mrs Duncan Stewarts
Florence Stewart (b. ca 1846), wife of the barrister Duncan Stewart [more].