The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Vanderbilt, Edith Stuyvesant
Record 5 of 24

System Number: 07307
Date: 22 May 1899
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1295
Document Type: ALS

15 Suffolk St.
Pall Mall

May 22 / 99


My dear friend,

I got your telegram[2] this evening upon my return, and hasten to say that I am fairly well thank you.

I did not find upon my arrival here, the letter I expected from you, though you had been here, had looked at the town clock, & then shook the mud of the island from your feet[3], and disappeared in La Belle France[.] [p. 2] I thought that you had run away from me, knowing that I was coming.

There is nothing new here. Pennell[4] told me that the "Baronet and the Butterfly[5]" is out, but I've not seen any Copies of it yet. I'll see Pennell to-night and ask him where to find a copy.

I arrived on the 10th per St. Louis at Southampton, & have been busy ever since, hunting up Whistler's of all sorts. I'm going to have an exhibition in America of "Sarasate[6]" & other paintings. I expect you to contribute also.

[p. 3] By the bye, if any person goes to you as if from or through me, see that they, he or she has a card or letter from me. As you know, I do not give cards to any one if I can help it. Mrs. Pennell[7] is as gracious as ever, and Mrs. Garlant[8] wants to know if Mr. Whistler is coming to London soon. I merely reply that I am not "the Keeper of the King's conscience and cannot tell."

I hear that you are painting Mrs. Vanderbilt[9].

I have been for a journey of 40 miles on a bicycle, & being "soft", am stiff and sore. I shall have to eat break-[p. 4]-fast from the mantelpiece for a day or two, I fear.

I do not expect to be in France until June. When are you coming over here?

Better come over for a few days, as it will be fine weather in a day or two, no doubt. Wind South.

Trusting that you are well, and with best remembrances to the ladies,

I am,
Yours always


J. McN. Whistler Esq.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more]. JW called him O'K.

2.  telegram
See #09785.

3.  shook the mud of the island from your feet
'And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.' Mark 6.11.

4.  Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

5.  Baronet and the Butterfly
Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].

6.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315).

7.  Mrs. Pennell
Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographer [more].

8.  Mrs. Garlant
Mrs Sarah E. Garlant (b. ca 1828), proprietor of Garlant's Hotel [more].

9.  Mrs. Vanderbilt
Edith Stuyvesant Vanderbilt (1873-1958), née Dresser, wife of G. W. Vanderbilt [more].