The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Exposition Universelle des Beaux-Arts, Antwerp, 1894
Record 14 of 23

System Number: 09717
Date: [13 July 1894][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: New York
Repository: New York Public Library
Call Number: E. G. Kennedy I/50
Credit Line: Edward Guthrie Kennedy Papers / Manuscripts and Archives Division / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Document Type: ALS

'Whistler to E. G. Kennedy / 13th July 1894'

110. Rue du Bac. Paris -

My dear Mr O. K.! -

One doesn't really know where you are! - but I am going to take it for granted that you really have gone back to that great country of yours - notwithstanding Chicago strikes and general developments! -

Now is there any buying of any kind going on over there?

I am sending you new lithographs - beautiful proofs - three of each - if you want more of course I shall hear -

What do you say [p. 2] to my sea pieces - that have just come home from the Salon[3]? - You ought to get £400. a piece for the two large ones - and £200 - or £250 - for the little one -

If you can afford to speculate you may have the three for three hundred down - and I will send them over at once -

You remember them - They have been a great success both here and in England - But things are shocking here just now as well you know - and I want to put some thing in the Bank which is looking I fear coldly upon me at this moment! -

The Kinsella[4] portrait is begun and promises superbly. -

I don't know what to send you for an exhibition - You see there is the famous Fire Wheel[5] - but you once had the "Falling Rocket[6]" -

It is true that that sold since - & for 800 too - I suppose after all that things have changed -

Well then shall I send the Firewheel - and the Little Chelsea Blue & Silver Nocturne[7], when the Antwerp Exhibition[8] is over? & meanwhile the Sea pieces? -

You spoke of water colours - but what? -

You know the pastels in the studio now - Well? you did not seem to think much of them in the way of business -

Look -

In any case I wonder if [p. 3] at this moment you could see the way to any thing immediately satisfactory -

Rather in haste!

Always sincerely & with thousands of messages, from all

J McN. Whistler

The lithographs at the usual price - 2 guineas -

[p. 3] I think[9] in looking over this, that my letter is unfair to both of us - The plain English of it is this - I want £300 - If you are able to send it me at once I wish you would - and take the three sea pieces as the means to secure yourself in the course of business - I ought not to depreciate their value - They are, so all the world are agreed[,] the finest things of the kind I have painted -

Therefore if you sell them at good prices, you ought to give me a share in the profit over & above the 300 - say one half, or at least one third - How does this seem to you? -

This document is protected by copyright.


'July 16, 1894'[10]

E. G. Kennedy. Esq.
868. Broadway. 868 -
New York -
U. S. A.
Etats Unis.
[postmark:] PARIS-80 / R. DU BAC / [6E?] 16 / JUIL / 94
[postmark on verso:] D / 7- 33- 94 / 12 -P / NY
[postmark on verso:] P.O.N.Y. / PAID ALL / 7-26-94


1.  [13 July 1894]
Dated from the postmark, and the date written in another hand.

2.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more]. JW called him O'K.

3.  Salon
Violet and Silver: A Deep Sea (YMSM 411), Dark Blue and Silver (YMSM 412) and Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers (YMSM 413) were shown at the 4th Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894.

4.  Kinsella
Louise Kinsella (d. 1923), patron of JW [more].

5.  Fire Wheel
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170).

6.  Falling Rocket
Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169).

7.  Nocturne
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 152); it was bought by Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), née Stewart, collector [more].

8.  Antwerp Exhibition
Exposition Universelle des Beaux-Arts, Antwerp, 1894.

9.  I think
'I think' to the end is written in the left margin, at right angles to the main text.

10.  'July 16, 1894'
Written on the envelope in yet another hand than the date on the letter. Similarly the separate year is written in another hand again.