The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Clausen, George
Record 2 of 18

System Number: 05416
Date: 26 January 1885
Author: Frank Short[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S60
Document Type: ALS

3 Radnor St.

26th Janry 1885

Dear Sir,

Herewith is a sketch on copper of your picture "The little White Girl[2]".

A photograph[3] of the picture was brought down to the Royal Institute Schools[4] (of which I am a student) as an Example of the kind of work we should aim after

We all went pretty well mad over it, and I obtained the loan of it from the visitor for one evening and did this sketch.

But I am mortal sure that loving it so much I could make a really good etching[5] of it, and I am writing this to ask you [p. 2] if you could give me permission to etch & publish an earnest plate of it.

I am very fearful of offending you by asking this, but if you could give me permission, believe me, I would do it with all my heart and soul

But if you cannot, do not be angry with me for asking. It is only because I love it so much, and because as a student it has made such a revolution in my ideas of work that I think it ought to be known to all students of today - we do not get many chances of seeing your [p. 3] work.

Mr Linton[6] (our President) said he thought you had etched it yourself, but I cannot find any mention of it in the catalogue of your etched work.

I do not know either where the picture is now.

But in any case please accept all reverence from we students, who believe in such work utterly.

Remaining Dr Sir
Yours faithfully

Frank Short

James McNeil [sic] Whistler Esq
13 Tite Street

This document is protected by copyright.



1) Frank Short
re Etching Little white Girl
(permission to etch)

2) re. formula for Dutch bath[8].


1.  Frank Short
Francis ('Frank') Job Short (1857-1945), printer and print-maker [more].

2.  The little White Girl
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52).

3.  photograph
The photograph was apparently brought in to the students by George Clausen (1852-1944), painter and print-maker [more]. (see Hardie, Martin, The Etched and Engraved Work of Sir Frank Short, 3 vols, 3, London, 1940, cat. no. 171).

4.  Royal Institute Schools
The short-lived schools of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours.

5.  etching
The Little White Girl (1885), etching after Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52). JW seems to have turned down the request as, according to Martin Hardie, Short made the etching from the photograph (op. cit.).

6.  Mr Linton
Perhaps Sir James Dromgole Linton (1840-1916), genre and watercolour painter [more].

7.  From...
This envelope is not the original one that Short used to send his letter to JW, but is probably one used by JW later to keep letters together. The envelope is blue, and the writing thereupon is in a number of different hands, some writing in ink and some in pencil. Section '1)' may be in the hand of Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

8.  Dutch bath
This probably refers to #05418, which must have been kept in this envelope.