The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: gift from JW
Record 38 of 45

System Number: 02956
Date: [30 December 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 3/20
Document Type: ALS

'Dec. 30. 95'

Dear Mr. Huish -

Very nice of you, your letter[3] of pleasant wishes - and kind expressions for the New Year -       I also find our present relations quite charming, and am sure that the entente cordiale now established could not easily be altered - even by a Board! -

Mr. Brown[4] has also written me a very bright account of [p. 2] things - and I learn that the malice of their fate insists upon both Du Maurier[5] and the Barronet[6] spending their guineas in the Gallery[7]! -

I trust that, in the case of the Eden sportsman, the transaction does not take place through the intercession of a "friend"! - and that Mr Brown insisted upon cash down! -

How about the new proofs ordered from Ways[8]? I must directly I can go down and see him -

Among those that I sent, "the Steps"[9] was an accident - I look upon it as a failure - and hopeless - though the drawing was one of the best - therefore we will not count it in -

The "Master Smith"[10] I want framed for myself - as you noted - I am going to send it down to the old gentleman[11] himself - So when on the mount, and before it is fixed in the frame, it might be sent over to me for its little dedication -

With kindest regards, and very best wishes for this New Year of hope[12]
Always sincerely

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [30 December 1895]
The date is written at the top of p. 1 in another hand.

2.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

3.  your letter

4.  Mr. Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more]. JW's show, Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895, was then under way.

5.  Du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more]. JW was alluding to his recent public quarrrel with Du Maurier over his story of bohemian life in Paris, Du Maurier, George, Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894. When Trilby was first published in serial parts in Harper's Magazine in March 1894, JW objected strongly to Du Maurier's portrayal of himself in the character of Joe Sibley, the 'Idle Apprentice.' The publishers later apologised and Du Maurier toned down the references to JW. However, there was extensive press coverage of the affair (see Whistler, James McNeill, 'Mr. Whistler on Friendship,' The Pall Mall Gazette, no. 9092, vol. 58, 13 May 1894, p. 2).

6.  Baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW was in dispute with Eden over the completion of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife.

7.  Gallery
Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895.

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

9.  'the Steps'
The Little Steps, Lyme Regis (C.131).

10.  'Master Smith'
The Master Smith of Lyme Regis (YMSM 450), a portrait of Samuel Edward Govier (1857-1934), blacksmith [more]. JW had recently returned from Lyme Regis, where he had completed a number of portraits and lithographs.

11.  old gentleman
Possibly Samuel Govier, or since he was not 'old', his father. JW also painted Ada Annie Govier (b. ca 1885), later Mrs Case [more] (Devonshire Daisy (YMSM 446)) although the portrait has not been located.

12.  hope
In fact JW was extremely worried about the declining health of his wife. Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more], died the following summer.