The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, gravure, lithographie et architecture, refusés par le Jury de 1863, et exposés, par décision de S. M. l'Empereur, au salon annexe, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1863
Record 25 of 31

System Number: 09011
Date: [25 April 1872][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Alan Summerly Cole[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 8/461/2
Document Type: ALS

2 Lindsey Houses -
Chelsea -


Dear Cole -

I find at the end of this days [sic] work that I can scarcely hope to have my White Girl[3] ready for Saturday - and therefore believe it only right to tell you so at once - in order that you may be spared any further annoyance because of this unlucky[4] picture - I am very sorry that it should not this year be exhibited[5] but I am afraid that it is impossible - so it will be best not to insert it in the Catalogue - This is of course [p. 2] an immense disappointment to me - and I especially regret that I should have given so much trouble.

I shall complete the picture do what I can the next two days but it would be best not to rely upon it-

Very Sincerely Yours

J. A. McN. Whistler

Allan Cole, Esq.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [25 April 1872]
An entry in A. S. Cole's diary for 25 April 1872 notes 'White Girl not forthcoming,' and as this is the last reference to the painting in 1872, it seems likely that this is the date of the letter (25 April was a Thursday). See also JW's previous and subsequent letters, (#09021, #09020).

2.  Alan Summerly Cole
Alan Summerly Cole (1846-1934), textile expert and museum official [more].

3.  White Girl
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38).

4.  unlucky
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38) was rejected by the Royal Academy in 1862 when it was first completed. It had to be exhibited at a commercial gallery, the Berners Street Gallery instead. The following year, the picture was also rejected by the Salon Jury in Paris. It was shown instead at the Salon des Refusés.

5.  exhibited
JW had intended to send the picture to the International Exhibition, South Kensington Museum, London, 1872 but was forced to show Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) instead.