The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Lenoir, Helen
Record 10 of 42

System Number: 11174
Date: [February 1885][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Helen Lenoir[2]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 8/450
Document Type: TLc

23 Wimpole Street,
Cavendish Square - W.,

Dear Miss Lenoir -

I looked in at "The Fine Art Society", - 148 New Bond Street - and that they are very properly just a little jealous of the Dowdeswell having cards[3] and being able to furnish details of what Archibald Forbes[4] calls the "Boom"[5] - while they are left quite out of it! - so that's all right! - So if you will send, the first thing tomorrow, a large card for them to hang up, and 25 of the smaller cards addressed to

Mr. Ernest Browne[6], he will push on the show with the warmth of competition - Little Browne is the head clerk, and in a timid way devoted to me - He tells me that all the Art people and Private Viewers are talking much - and that also lots of their clients in Country etc., they could furnish -

Indeed he wants tickets also - so he had better have half a dozen in a couple of rows.

Also that he had spoken to the PECKS[7], 25, Chesham Place S. W who had received no card - I probably forgot them - you might look them up - He thinks they mean to go -


[butterfly signature]

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1.  [February 1885]
Dated from recipient and reference to Ten O'Clock Lecture.

2.  Helen Lenoir
Helen Lenoir (1852-1913), née Coupar Black, actress and stage manager [more].

3.  Dowdeswell having cards
Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, art dealers and printsellers, were at 160 New Bond Street. The cards were for JW's 'Ten O'Clock Lecture,' his major public statement of his aesthetic ideas. He delivered the lecture for the first time on 20 February 1885 at the Prince's Hall, Piccadilly. It was repeated subsequently at several other venues, including Oxford and Cambridge.

4.  Archibald Forbes
Archibald Forbes (1838-1900), journalist and war correspondent [more].

5.  Boom
That is, the publicity campaign generated by JW and Helen Lenoir to advertise the Ten O'Clock Lecture between 13 January and 20 February. Advertisements appeared firstly in the Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily News and Evening Standard (on 13 January 1885) to be followed a few days later by those in other periodicals and newspapers (including the Morning Post and the literary and scientific review the Academy). This aroused the interest of other publications such as Orange Blossoms (12 February 1885).

6.  Ernest Browne
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

George Peck, a social acquaintance of JW.