The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Canfield, Richard Albert
Record 4 of 77

System Number: 00525
Date: [21 July/August 1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Richard Alfred Canfield[2]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C26a
Document Type: ALdS



Dear Mr Canfield -

When I saw, at Mr Coggeshall's[3], photographs and reproductions of the rare & beautiful exqui[4] furniture & bronzes with which you have surrounded yourself, I was especially pleased with the perfect relation between the objects themselves and the rooms in which they are placed - & to which they therefore [p. 2] seem to have always belonged! -

This absence of all overcrowding - this refined feeling of fair space about the beautiful thing itself - like the large margin framing the sonnet - reveals immediately a subtle sense that marks the difference between the man born to live with [that?] delight in what he gathers about him, and the ["]Collector" made to stock his place with bric-a brac! -

I could not help speaking of this to Mr Coggeshall at the time - and your letter to me since, is of in its a delicacy & of charm of courtesy in its proposals[5] to myself that shows how true was my impression could only come from 'confirms me in[6] is of the accuracy of my impression. I need not say with what pleasure it will be to me to have work inon such walls & in such care and I gladly accept your proposition.

With regard to your portrait we will doubtless come to some clearer conclusion understanding when we meet. I had intended

Believe me dear Mr Canfield
Very faithfu sincerely yours.

J. McNeill Whistler.


P. S. Though very much wandering about of late any letters would always reach me at Garlant's Hotel - Suffolk Street - Pall Mall - London -'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [21 July/August 1901]
This is a draft reply to a letter from R. Canfield to JW, 20 July 1901, #00524. Also written on this sheet is another draft letter, #10497.

2.  Richard Alfred Canfield
Richard Albert Canfield (1855-1914), gambler [more].

3.  Mr Coggeshall's
Walter Coggeshall (b. ca 1851), civil engineer [more].

4.  beautiful exqui
These words are written over one another.

5.  in its proposals
These words were crossed out and then re-instated by a dotted line beneath.

6.  confirms me in...
From here to the end the text was written in pencil by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], except for some minor additions in ink.

7.  Dovercourt
JW's in-laws, the Birnie Philips, were staying at Dovercourt.