The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Art and Art Critics
Record 14 of 35

System Number: 02818
Date: [6 January 1879][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Charles Augustus Howell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 11/117/2
Document Type: ALS


'6. January. 1879.'

I have a letter for you Owl from Willie[3] with a list of 36 names for the new subscriptions[4] -

You had better look round in the morning on your way - Did you see the leader[5]! in the Daily News[6]? - yesterdays -

The pamphlet[7] is going like smoke! -

I saw Herrman[8] and told him what you said and was obliged to write to Allingham[9] then & there [p. 2] at Herrman's request a letter saying that as he had had instructions from Howell to pay the cheque for £10 - would he do so at once and oblige &c &c -

How is Allingham - poor old Theo - I wanted to get out and see him - but couldn't -

Is it getting on with Rose[10]?

I shall be in until 3 tomorrow -

Do come round for a moment - or at any rate see to the Herrmann cheque being attended to -


[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [6 January 1879]
Date noted on page by C. A. Howell ('6. January. 1879.'), presumably on receipt of letter. The letter was stuck in the first of two albums of documents by Howell (see #02788).

2.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

3.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

4.  subscriptions
Howell arranged for Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) and Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203) to be engraved by Richard Josey (1840-1906), reproductive engraver [more]. Howell had a subscription pamphlet printed, and on 1 January 1879 J. A. Rose subscribed for engravings (Rose to C. A. Howell, #11902). JW's letter suggests that the initial reaction to the engravings was positive. On 1 May 1879 JW sold Howell the copyright on both paintings, and at that time the portraits were still being engraved (#02835).

5.  leader
Underlined thrice.

6.  Daily News
Editorial, Daily News, 4 January 1879, p. 5.

7.  pamphlet
Whistler, James McNeill, Whistler v. Ruskin: Art and Art Critics, London, 1878.

8.  Herrman
Louis Herrman (b. 1810 or 1811), of Gilby and Herrman, artists' suppliers, later a picture dealer [more]. JW's financial dealings with Hermann and Howell were complex and well-nigh incomprehensible, involving loans of money, with paintings as security. JW petitioned to be declared bankrupt in January and was declared insolvent on 6 May 1879. Hermann was among his creditors.

9.  Allingham
Theodore Frederick Allingham (b. 1845), solicitor [more].

10.  Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. Rose was both trying to stave off JW's creditors and arranging his application to be declared bankrupt.