UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Scotland
Record 18 of 35

System Number: 00760
Date: 2 May 1891
Author: Robert Crawford[1]
Place: Glasgow
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C261
Document Type: ALS


TELEGRAPHIC ADDRESS, "IMPORTERS," GLASGOW.
TELEPHONE NUMBER 3203.

R. CRAWFORD. OF BURNS, CRAWFORD & CO.
WHOLESALE & EXPORT
FANCY GOODS
WAREHOUSEMEN.

84 MILLER STREET,
GLASGOW,

May 2. 1891

J McNeil [sic] Whistler Esq

I opened a District Exhibition of Pictures and Sculpture on the South Side last night and there we Exhibited your Carlyle[2] for the first time as Corporation property

The Exhibition is got up by the Fine Art Committee of which I am convener and we were naturally interested in the reception which our purchase would get

I am happy to tell you that the universal Expression was one of great delight and Satisfaction and I was congratulated on all hands on the felicity of [p. 2] our first municipal adventure in the purchase of pictures - Personally I am even more satisfied now than I was when I saw the picture at your house. The simple dignity of the picture is now more emphasized by the frame which is in so much harmony with the feeling of the picture and in this frame you may depend it will remain

I hope if you come to Glasgow you will permit me the pleasure of seeing you - I remember with much pleasure my two interviews with you on these [sic] stormy afternoons[.] I should like very much to have some personal memorial of our intercourse and if I [p. 3] was rich enough to do so would like to Commission something from you[.] Unfortunately wealth has not been my trial in life - I have the fancy however to have something to remind me of an event very interesting to me and will suggest (if you will take it in good part) that I will ask you to do me something - anything you like, so long as you paint it specially for me - for twenty Guineas - That is the Extent of my Spare Coin and it is not much but somehow I feel you will understand and appreciate my wish to have something with your name[.] You will remember me as the Glasgow Councillor with the [p. 4] red Scotch face

With kind regards
I am
Yours Very truly

R Crawford


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Notes:

1.  Robert Crawford
Robert Crawford (1845-1915), of Burns, Crawford and Co. [more]. Robert Crawford was the Glasgow Councillor who was Convener of the Fine Art Committee responsible for buying the portrait and who went to London to negotiate the sale. As far as is known he did not buy anything from JW. He wrote again on 13 May (see #00761).

2.  Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137).