The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Canfield, Richard Albert
Record 20 of 77

System Number: 00526
Date: 29 April [1902][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Richard Albert Canfield[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C27
Document Type: ALS[3]

Dear Mr Canfield -

Your letter[4] could not be nicer in kind feeling and expression! - and you must know that I keenly appreciate your delicate and charming manner of dealing with these "business [p. 2] matters" - taking sweet personal pleasure in the contrast as set forth in the methods of the Islander! -

Now I am sure you will understand me at once -

You have seen that the work[5] is all absorbing - and indeed I myself, find the difficulties in the brush quite sufficient in themselves, without allowing them to become complicated with anything distantly resembling responsibility of any kind! -

So that, dear Mr Canfield, I must beg you to take care of this pretty paper (a check)[6] yet for the time being! -

You will remember that I recieved [sic] your first cheque without hesitation - sympathizing entirely with the spirit in which it was sent -

I think it will not be at all difficult for you, who have so far shown such ready understanding, to see, with me, that this is as much of a [p. 3] link with business as I can stand in the midst of incompleted work. -

I shall expect you to breakfast tomorrow at the usual hour - and with a thousand thanks, all the same, am

Always Very Sincerely

J. McNeill Whistler

74. Cheyne Walk Chelsea -

April 29. -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  29 April [1902]
Year dated from the address and reference to Canfield's portrait (see below).

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

3.  ALS
Written on narrow bordered mourning paper.

4.  letter

5.  work
Portrait of Richard A. Canfield (YMSM 547) was commissioned in May 1901, begun (probably) in March 1902, and taken up again in early 1903. It is said that Canfield then posed every day until 16 May 1903, when he sailed for New York. It remained in JW's studio until after his death, when it was sent to Canfield by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more] (see also Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Whistler Journal, Philadelphia, 1921, pp. 234-35).

6.  (a check)
This is written in another hand, in pencil, and appears to be a later editorial insertion.