The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Walters, William Thompson
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 04005
Date: 4 May 1894
Author: Howard Mansfield[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M276
Document Type: ALS

'May 4th 94'[2]


Dear Mr. Whistler;

For months I have been meaning to write to you, but have delayed while waiting for the photograph which was taken of the exhibit of your etchings at Chicago[3] the day after the Fair closed. Copies of the photograph came last night and one will go to you by to-morrow's mail.

Thus you will see better than could be described how the prints were arranged and the place of prominence assigned to them. They had the best possible light. The only objection to the place they [p. 2] were in was that they were up-stairs in the Art Building, and not everyone went up-stairs. Yet there was no better place down stairs, all things considered; and I was quite satisfied with the provision made for showing the prints, and think you would have been pleased with it.

Mr. Walters[4] of Baltimore told me the other day that friends had reported to him that the display of your etchings was, perhaps the most artistic exhibit at the Fair. For your paintings, while conspicuously placed in positions of honor, were [p. 3] not grouped by themselves.

Everything sent to represent you received great attention and, I think, a good measure of appreciation. It is a pity, though, that the system of awards adopted prevented distinct official recognition of your supremacy[.] But that can scarcely matter much with you. You would very likely feel strange enough if general acceptance of the full merit of your work were to prevail.

How come on the Paris etchings[5]? I am anxious to see proofs of them, and to obtain for Freer[6] and myself the choicest impressions.

Lithographs of French subjects[7] have come from time to time, all of which, [p. 4] I believe, are now in my collection.

When I was with Freer in Detroit two Sundays ago, he was wondering why he had never received from you the proofs of the retouched Venice plates[8], for which he had written to you. I wish you might send them.

I shall be glad to learn how you and Mrs. Whistler[9] are, and wish to be cordially remembered to Mrs. Whistler. I suppose your garden is simply delightful these spring days, and I wish I might be with you under the trees. But I see no prospect of that this year.

Enclosed are lists of a few etchings and lithographs[10] I would like if you can supply them.

Yours faithfully,

Howard Mansfield.

May 4, 1894

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

2.  May 4th 94
Written in another hand in pencil.

3.  Chicago
World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893. Copies of these photographs are in the Howard Mansfield papers in New York Public Library.

4.  Mr. Walters
Henry Walters (1841-1931), collector, founder of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD [more].

5.  Paris etchings
Recent etchings such as Quai de Montebello (K.417) and Newspaper-stall, Rue de Seine (K.432).

6.  lithographs
Presumably such lithographs as Rue Furstenburg (C.97) and The Laundress: 'La Blanchisseuse de la Place Dauphine' (C.93).

7.  Freer
Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more].

8.  retouched Venice plates
Probably late states of Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

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