The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Kennedy, David A.
Record 11 of 33

System Number: 07268
Date: 3 March 1896
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1256
Document Type: ALS


[scroll:] H. WUNDERLICH & CO.
H W & CO.
868 B'WAY N- Y-

March 3rd 1896.

Dear Mr. Whistler,

In a letter received by me from my brother David[2] to-day, he says that you informed him that all you have to do is to send a painting to Thomson[3] and receive a cheque by return of post, and that you further informed him "that you did not care to bother with such a Country" (that is America).

This is so much at variance with your last letters to me, that I am somewhat astonished. If the above is a correct report of your sentiments to your own Country, I cannot blame you for not desiring to have any thing more to do with it, particularly as you have certainly struck a gold mine in Thomson

[p. 2] As your financial affairs have changed so much for the better, you will not, of course, have any need of the Cheque which I sent you, in a friendly way, and as a mark of sympathy in what was then a trying time in the financial world of Whistler.

I am rejoiced to find that you are now in the position you have longed for & which you deserve, & can only regret that the ways of Thomson, so far, are strange to America. I wish it was otherwise, but so it is. What a pic-nic it would be if all the things I bought were sold at once! I would not be long in business, I can tell you. I would "throw physic to the dogs", that is, give the picture business to any one who wanted it. No more worry! What a relief!!

[p. 3] Are you correctly reported? Are you "rowlin in riches"? I have an idea you were chaffing the "tenderfoot", though I hope not.

Be sure that no one rejoices more in your good fortune than I do, even if my poor little orders for lithographs and etchings should be thrown in the waste paper basket, though I don't think you will do that to an old friend.

If you want to print any etchings this Summer, I have the finest lot of old paper you ever saw. Just the thing for "Doorway[4]" and some of the French set if you will touch them up.

Several fellows here wanted [p. 4] to buy it and almost took possession of it by force when I refused to part with it.

If you make an appointment I'll roll your press for you. What do you think of that?

John La Farge[5] was in to-day and spoke of writing to you. He also inquired about Mrs. Whistler[6], and I told him all I knew. He looks thin and old, and must have been ill. If I do not dispose of the two paintings[7] here, I will send them to Boston, as I may stir up enthusiasm there for them, perhaps.

I hope Mrs. Whistler Continues to improve. Let me know, please. I do not think of any thing more at this moment, & am, as always

Yours Sincerely,

E. G. Kennedy.

Vedder[8] here with work for Congressional Library.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

2.  David
David A. Kennedy, New York dealer, brother of E. G. Kennedy [more].

3.  Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

4.  [p. 3]
The printed address header is repeated at top of p. 3 (as on p. 1). Also added at the top of this page, in pencil in another hand, is the date: 'II   Mar 3rd 1896'.

5.  Doorway
The Doorway (K.188).

6.  John La Farge
John LaFarge or La Farge (1835-1910), painter and multi-media artist [more].

7.  Mrs. Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She was seriously ill with cancer.

8.  two paintings
Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169) and Crimson note: Carmen (YMSM 441).

9.  Vedder
Elihu Vedder (1836-1923), painter, sculptor and illustrator [more]. This sentence is added in the space at the top of p. 1. Vedder designed a marble mosaic for the landing of the stairs leading to the visitor's gallery above the main Reading Room in the Library of Congress, E. Vedder, Minerva; and five painted murals in the Reading Room, representing good and bad government, which were completed 1896-7.