The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 2nd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1878
Record 12 of 20

System Number: 08944
Date: [August 1878/1879][1]
Author: Ford and Dickinson[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscripts Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: MsD

[illegible words]
DRAWINGS, [illegible words]



  To account as delivered to Xmas 1876 142 1 "
1878 To acct. to Xmas 1877 33 5 9.
April A wainscot reeded frame[3] own pattern gilt with green gold 29¾ x 19½ 6 9 "
  A best white patent plate glass for above frame over inside flat 1 3 "
  A best white patent plate glass 26 x 16¾ fixed in frame[4]    15 "
  Cutting & rejoining 2 large frames & cleaning do. -   17 6
  Mans time 22 Hours at 1/- van hire, same time at 1/9 on three occasions about pictures for Grosvenor Gallery[5] - 3 2 9
July Van hire & mans time with matting from Wardour St to Chelsea -   7 "
Aug Van hire and mans time removing pictures from Grosvenor Gallery to Chelsea -      
  over £ 188    [" ?]  


[p. 2] Brt. over  £ 188. 8  "
[Cr] Van hire 9 hours at 1/9 two mens time 33 Hours at 1/- engaged removing pictures to & from Westminster[6] - had to wait     2     
      190  16    
Sept. 1st By Cheque 20. 0. 0      
Octr 27th. "   do 20. 0  0      
Novr 24th "   do        
  of G. Potter[7] Esq  4. 10.  6      
  By Acceptance due Dec 29th. 1877 60.  0. 0       
    104. 10.  6      
      104  10    
    Balance due         £ 86      


This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [August 1878/1879]
The last date on the bill is August 1878 but the occasion for presenting it may have been when JW was declared bankrupt on 6 May 1879. The document came with JW's bankruptcy papers to James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

2.  Ford and Dickinson
Probably Ford and Dickinson, frame-makers and gilders, London.

3.  frame
Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville (YMSM 64) is a little larger than the size given, at 19 1/2 x 29 3/4" (49.5 x 75.5 cm). It was owned by George John Cavafy (1805-1891), merchant, partner in G. J. Cavafy and Company [more]. He refused to pay the bill for the frame specially decorated by JW (see JW's letter to J. Cavafy, #00549).

4.  26 x 16¾ fixed in frame
This frame does not match the sizes of any known painting by JW. Among the pictures exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1878 (see below), the nearest in size is Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 151) at 17½ x 24" (44.4 x 61.0 cm). However, some, such as 'Harmony in Blue and Yellow', have never been identified (this painting was omitted from YMSM).

5.  Grosvenor Gallery
II Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1878 (cat. no. 24) Arrangement in Blue and Green (YMSM 193); (cat. no. 52) 'Harmony in Blue and Yellow' (not identified); (cat. no. 53) Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 151); (cat. no. 54) 'Variations in Flesh-colour and Green' is Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56); (cat. no. 55) Arrangement in White and Black (YMSM 185); (cat. no. 56) Nocturne in Blue and Gold (YMSM 154) may be Nocturne: Grey and Silver (YMSM 156); (cat. no. 57) 'Nocturne in Grey and Gold' is Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Chelsea Snow (YMSM 174).

6.  Westminster
Several paintings shown at the I Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877, were produced as evidence at the Westminster Palace Hotel during the 'Whistler v. Ruskin' trial on 25-26 November 1878. They included Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 113), Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 140), Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), and Arrangement in Brown (YMSM 182).

7.  G. Potter
John Gerald Potter (1829-1908), wallpaper manufacturer and patron [more]. At some point he acquired an important group of paintings: Blue and Silver: Blue Wave, Biarritz (YMSM 41), Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf (YMSM 54), and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights (YMSM 115). JW later claimed that Potter had paid very little, so he may have bought them in 1878 when JW was extremely hard up.