The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Gutekunst, Otto
Record 2 of 13

System Number: 03356
Date: [6] December 1893[1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Thomas Robert Way[2]
Place: London
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 113
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS[3]

110. Rue du Bac - Paris -

My dear Tom -

Beautiful! - I am very greatly pleased - Both the figures[4] are delightful and the skies charming! -

Now then the stump is most splendid business - for in future I can always keep it under - now that I know its power - But does'nt it give wonderful quality? -

On the stone[5] of course I don't know [p. 2] yet, for I have had no good chance - but the paper gives results that I should think can scarcely be surpassed -

It will be rather fun trying the transparent piece you send me - for a second state of the lying down figure[6] - I might keep the two states and print them both as I like! -

I do hope we may be able to come over soon and talk all these things out -

There are other matters to be at last talked over and properly settled - I have always been so beastly poor[7] - but your Father[8] knows all that - only now I fancy I see fortune looming on the horizon! - and I might really be rich[9]! - who knows! - It would be amazing fun - and what wonderful things we would do then! - I think I should bring you over to Paris and make you set me up a press of my own[10] for my trial proofs - and you might carry off all the printing of the artists here to Wellington Street[11]! for I am sure to make lithography a roaring fashion! Only we won't let out any of the secrets of the studio Tom - I have been too careless and entirely too good hitherto - but we will try and see if we can't get over that!! - At the present minute I am finishing [p. 3] some pictures[12] that your Father will be delighted with or I am mistaken - The lithographs however are a great find - That was very amusing the Gutekunst & Deprez[13] showing the proofs[14] to your Father! - I hope he was enthusiastic - and I hope they were properly mounted & shown as great treasures!

Of course I lost no time - I have none to loose my dear Tom - my hands are so full - & so is my head - All the endless things I had bottled up for so long in the midst of the hard siege and open war in which I lived over there! -

Wednesday morning - Marty's proofs[15] just come - seem absolutely perfect!

Off now - more later! -

Kindest regards

J McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


Thomas Way. Junr
21. Wellington Street
Strand -
London -
Angleterre -
[postmark:] [PARIS] / R. DU BAC / 3E [6?] / DEC / 93
[postmark on verso:] [LONDON] W. C. / C. X. / DE 7 / 93


1.  [6] December 1893
Dated from the postmark. The date of receipt '7 Dec 93' is written in an unknown hand in pencil on p. 1.

2.  Thomas Robert Way
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, p. 81, no. 68.

4.  figures
The Draped Figure, Seated (C.72) and Nude Model, Reclining (C.73).

5.  stone
See #06102.

6.  lying down figure
Nude Model, Reclining (C.73); see #06105.

7.  poor
In 1878 JW had pawned some of his most important paintings and did not redeem them until the late 1880s; see #06092. In 1879 he was declared bankrupt and lost his house, possessions, and works of art.

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

9.  rich
T. R. Way wrote that JW must have received a considerable income from the sale of his lithographs; Way, Thomas Robert, Memories of James McNeill Whistler, the Artist, London and New York, 1912, p. 102. JW kept a record of the dispatch and purchase of many prints in his ledgers (GUL Whistler LB1, NB 1). The major collectors and dealers were Howard Mansfield, C. L. Freer, and E. G. Kennedy in America; and D. C. Thomson of the Goupil Gallery and M. B. Huish of the Fine Art Society in England. See 'Marketing the Lithographs' in Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, pp. 232-77.

10.  press of my own
JW had considered setting up a press in his studio in Paris in September 1892 (see #03321; Way, Thomas Robert, Memories of James McNeill Whistler, the Artist, London and New York, 1912, pp. 102-03).

11.  Wellington Street
The Ways had their printing press at 21 Wellington Street.

12.  pictures
Possibly the marine paintings JW had executed earlier in the year while on holiday in Brittany, and which he recommended Way should see when they were exhibited in London in 1894 (#03337).

13.  Gutekunst and Deprez
Otto Gutekunst (b. ca 1865 - after 1939), art dealer [more]; and Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915), art dealer, partner with P. and D. Colnaghi and Co. [more].

14.  proofs
See #06106.

15.  Marty's proofs
Proofs of The Draped Figure, Seated (C.72) for the new journal L'Estampe originale, edited by André E. Marty (b. 1857), journalist, illustrator and print publisher [more] (see #03347, #06107).