The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Freer, Charles Lang
Record 18 of 374

System Number: 01500
Date: 31 March 1890
Author: Charles Lang Freer[1]
Place: Detroit
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F432
Document Type: ALS


Mar. 31st. 1890 -

Dear Mr. Whistler,

I arrived home two weeks ago to day and brought through safely with me the etchings for Mr. Mansfield[2] and myself, also that charming pastel[3] and that very interesting frame - for all of which I am under many obligations to you -

My visit with yourself and Mrs Whistler[4] was the event of my trip, and I shall long have reason to remember most pleasantly the hospitality you both bestowed - When [p. 2] you come to America - you must surely visit Detroit and give me an opportunity to reciprocate your kindness - The N. Y. Tribune has already mentioned your Amsterdam etchings[5] - I sent you a copy of the newspaper -

Next week an important exhibition[6] of your work consisting of a selection of your etchings, watercolors, and pastels, from the period of "Little Venice[7]" including the ten Amsterdam prints is to be held in the new Club house of The Grolier Club[8] in N. Y. City - It will undoubtedly attract much attention -

I send you under seperate [sic] cover a copy of yesterday's "Free Press[9]" containing an article which I very much regret is not in better shape - It came to be published by reason [p. 3] of a short address which I delivered before the Witenagemote Club[10] of this city last week - At which time I exhibited a selection of your earliest and latest etchings and refered [sic] to my recent visit with you - A reporter of The Detroit Free Press was present and asked for an interview which I granted with the understanding that his article would be given to me for correction before publication - This I am sorry to say was not done hence the blunders - I hope you will overlook them -

With cordial greetings to Mrs Whistler and yourself,
I remain,
Respectfully yours

Charles L. Freer -

77 Alfred St -
Detroit. Mich -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Charles Lang Freer
Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more]. Published in Merrill, Linda, With Kindest Regards. The Correspondence of Charles Lang Freer and James McNeill Whistler, 1890-1903, Washington and London, 1995, no. 1, pp. 65-66.

2.  Mr. Mansfield
Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), New York lawyer, print collector [more]. The sales to Mansfield are recorded in #13047.

3.  pastel
Harmony in Blue and Violet (M.1076). The sales are recorded in #13065.

4.  Mrs Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

5.  Amsterdam etchings
'Holland set', 1889 (K.402-416) (excat 10).

6.  exhibition
[Exhibition of watercolours, pastels and etchings belonging to C. L. Freer], Grolier Club, New York, 1890.

7.  Little Venice
It is not clear if he means the Amsterdam etchings or Venetian ones.

8.  The Grolier Club
A club for collectors and print makers, which held regular lectures and exhibitions, and published important books on prints.

9.  Free Press
'A Day with Whistler', Detroit Free Press, 30 March 1890, GUL pc 1, p. 2.

10.  Witenagemote Club
A private men's club in Detroit, with artistic, literary and general cultural leanings. Witenagemote is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a meeting of wise men. In the period before the Norman Conquest it was the name of the national council or legislature in England.