The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Marchant and Co.
Record 2 of 4

System Number: 01535
Date: 14 October 1902
Author: Charles Lang Freer[1]
Place: Detroit
Recipient: Nancy Regina Emily Bell[2]
Place: Christchurch
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F467
Document Type: TLc

#33 Ferry Avenue,
Detroit, Michigan,

October 14th, 1902.

Mrs. Arthur Bell,
Rastgarth, Southborn[e],
Hants, England.

Dear Madam:--

I have just returned home from a three weeks' driving trip through the Berkshire Hills, and find your two letters of September 18th and 23rd awaiting my arrival.

In reply to your request for photographs of some of the paintings by Mr. Whistler owned by me, to be used as reproductions in your forthcoming monograph[3] on Mr. Whistler's work, I beg to say that for some years, I have made it an invariable rule to refer all such requests to the artists who painted the pictures. It seems to me that they alone should have the right during their lives to select the publications in which they wish their work represented. If you will kindly take the trouble to write to Mr. Whistler, he will, I am sure, let you know his pleasure in the matter. Should he consent to the use of photographic reproductions of some of his paintings in my collection, and you will advise me to that effect, I will take (p. 2) pleasure in sending you photographs of say a half dozen pictures.

I regret that I cannot give you information as to where other photographs of Mr. Whistler's work can be obtained. Possibly, you can get advice on the subject from Mr. William S. Marchant[4], Care, Goupil Gallery, #5 Regent Street, London, S. W.

Yours very respectfully,

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Charles Lang Freer
Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more]. This is a reply to Nancy Bell's two earlier letters, 18 and 23 September, #00271, #00272.

2.  Nancy Regina Emily Bell
Nancy Regina Emily Bell (1844-1933), née Meugens, writer, wife of Arthur Bell [more].

3.  monograph
Bell, Nancy R. E., James McNeill Whistler, by Mrs Arthur Bell, London, 1904. Freer forwarded copies of the correspondence to JW (#01536) who, alarmed by the prospect of a popular biographer writing about him, refused to co-operate. His draft reply is at #00274. See also #00275.

4.  Mr. William S. Marchant
William Stephen Marchant (1868-1925), art dealer [more].