The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Freer, Charles Lang
Record 29 of 374

System Number: 01502
Date: 20 February 1891
Author: Charles Lang Freer[1]
Place: Detroit
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F434
Document Type: ALS[2]

February 20th, 1891 -

My dear Mr. Whistler,

After several months of practically continuous absence from Detroit, I am again at home and spent last evening in reading to some friends who called, extracts from the Whirlwind[3] on the thras[h]ing you gave that fellow Moore[4] - I congratulate you upon scalping one more coward, and trust that strength will be given you to continue your good work -

I thank you very much for sending me the copies of the Whirlwind and regret [p. 2] very much that my absence from home prevented an earlier acknowledgement of your kindness -

I am anxious to posess [sic] complete files of this crisp journal, particularly the numbers containing your illustrations and have to-day sent my subscription for two years: beginning with the first issue -

About two years ago I purchased in New York a set of your lithographs[5] published by Way[6], and also nine copies of lithographs by you of street scenes and figures which I was told you had never published except in a very limited number - These pictures have given a great deal of pleasure to myself and friends and I have given two or three impressions [p. 3] to artist friends - which I would like to replace - Can I purchase from you one complete set of the nine unpublished lithographs for an appreciative friend, also duplicates of the figure pieces to replace those given from own collection? If you can let me have them, please forward by mail at your early convenience, and send bill - I will remit promptly -

Have you done any etching since my delightful visit to your studio? If you have made any new plates, I earnestly hope that you have kept good impressions for me, and, if any are ready you will further favor me by sending them with the lithographs - Am I asking too much?

I wish I could tell you how much genuine pleasure and instruction your Amsterdam plates[7] have given both artists and amateurs, throughout America - The impressions I brought over for Mr Mansfield[8] and myself have been exhibited[9] a number of times and have left the very strongest [p. 4] possible influence for good upon all those whose "appreciation is entertaining" -

Did you make the proposed visit to Spain? Many of your friends in this country are so glad that you went to Holland and etched those wonderful plates - It gives us an opportunity to see you at your best along side of Rembrandt[10], with like subjects for comparison -

I should think that you would find very much in Spain[11] to inspire and fascinate you - and that a trip to that charming country would lead to your doing for Spain what you have already so magnificiently [sic] done for Holland -

Trusting that yourself and Mrs. Whistler[12] are enjoying the best of health, and with cordial greetings,

I remain,
Sincerely yours,

Charles L. Freer.

77 Alfred St.
Michigan -

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. 7, pp. 75-77.

2.  ALS
Published in Merrill, Linda, With Kindest Regards. The Correspondence of Charles Lang Freer and James McNeill Whistler, 1890-1903, Washington and London, 1995, no. 7, pp. 75-77.

3.  Whirlwind
Journal edited by Herbert Vivian (1865-1940), author, editor of The Whirlwind [more], and Charles H. Stuart Erskine (1853-1896), son of the 12th Earl of Mar and Kellie [more].

4.  Moore
Augustus Martin Moore (d. 1918), journalist and acting manager [more].

5.  lithographs
A group of nine lithographs published as Art Notes.

6.  Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

7.  Amsterdam plates
'Holland set', 1889 (K.402-416) (excat 10).

8.  Mr Mansfield
Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), New York lawyer, print collector [more].

9.  exhibited
Possibly at the Grolier Club, New York.

10.  Rembrandt
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more].

11.  Spain
JW never went back to Spain.

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