The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Search for People > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: Wyndham, Madeline C. F. E.
Record 11 of 19

System Number: 08217
Date: [26 February 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 3
Document Type: ALS

[date stamp:] GOUPIL AND COMPANY
26 FEB. 92

33. Rue de Tournon - Paris -

Feb. 27. 1892 -

Dear Sir -

Catalogue - Make out complete list of all that you have received and that have been promised that you can rely upon - I will then do my best -

I mean however every thing to be very simple this time - with very little demonstration - if any -

Pastel - Hutchinson[3] - The Pastel I remember is very rich and brilliant - ought certainly to be pushed -

You should sell it for £130 - or £150 -

Hon. Mrs Percy Wyndham[4] - Has written and I am to have picture -

Nocturne St. Marks Venice If Grau[5] has time let him make new frame for this - very important on the walls - '[illegible] Grau 27.2.92'

Posters - Very simple - Clearly state small collection (for 3 weeks only) of Nocturnes, easel pictures and portraits, loaned by their owners - Send over rough proof -

Pall Mall etc. - See Mr. George Thomson[6], and let him say that there should be no erroneous notion that the Exhibition is at all a large representation gathering together of Mr. Whistler's works - but a small collection a matter of impossible accomplishment at present - but a small collection, kindly loaned by the owners.

That it is nevertheless very representative, both of his art, & of of the work that has given rise to the strong feeling of irritation and antagonism it has all along met with in this country - & that has been received abroad with the highest respect & consideration, culminating in the placing of his picture[7] in the Luxembourg and the Cross of "Officier" of the Legion of Honour -

[p. 2] Date - The very latest possible - I mean every thing to be a success. - and shall run over myself two or three days beforehand - Now let me assure you that the very shortness of duration is one of its best elements of success - giving it a character of smartness and crispness and above all of preciousness and rarity - Only you[8] must manage that all this be said now in the P. M. G.[9] and other papers - The people must feel that it is not the usual long dragging call for shillings - but a rapid occasion, over in a moment -

Get Mr. Pennell[10] - and talk to him - so that he can say those the right things in the Star - etc -

In all these matters I know that I can rely upon your great judgment and discretion -

Most important - None of the works[11] received must be seen by a soul beforehand -

I have a feeling that after all you have not chosen the very best moment for this business - and that the exhibition that follows mine will find London fuller - If you have made a mistake, I shall have great difficulty in forgiving you! - For this reason I am anxious to put off the opening Private View as long as possible - I am so afraid that town will be empty - Isn't your period appointed just at the Easter holiday? -

Private View List - I don't know how to help you? - for I have not with me any thing of the kind - Of course neither the Fine Arts, nor the Dowdeswells[12] would help you - and indeed I would not ask them on any account -

In any case you must get about it at once, and be sure to send an invitation to G. W. Smalley[13] Esq. 8. Chester Place, Hyde Park Square - Mr & Mrs[14] of course - He is the London correspondent of the New York Tribune -

The Duke of Marlborough[15] of course, & the Duchess - Charles Whibley[16] Esq 10. Millbank Street. Westminster - I will try and remember others -

Lithographs & etchings. We will have a small selection - may serve charmingly to group about the room -

Yours truly

J McN. Whistler.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [26 February 1892]
Although JW dated this 'Feb. 27', the Goupil date of receipt stamp indicates '26 February 1892', and D.C. Thomson replied on 26 and 27 February, #05689 and #05690.

2.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. Thomson was organising JW's major retrospective exhibition Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892.

3.  Hutchinson
Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891), stock broker and collector [more]; the pastel was probably The Japanese Dress (M.1227) or Design for a Mosaic (M.1226).

4.  Mrs Percy Wyndham
Madeline Caroline Frances Eden Wyndham (1835-1920), née Campbell, artist [more]. She had written on 23 February 1892 (#07342), agreeing to lend Nocturne: Blue and Gold - St Mark's, Venice (YMSM 213).

5.  Grau
Frederick H. Grau (d. 1894/1895), picture framer [more]. The note following this sentence was written in the right margin in another hand, and records Thopson's response.

6.  Mr. George Thomson
George Thomson, journalist [more].

7.  picture
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101).

8.  you
Double underlined.

9.  P. M. G.
Pall Mall Gazette, London society paper.

10.  Mr. Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

11.  Most important - None of the works
'Most ... works' is double underlined.

12.  Dowdeswells
JW had held 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886. At the Fine Art Society, further down New Bond Street, JW had held a series of exhibitions, the last being Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883. He was to exhibit again with them in 1895.

13.  G. W. Smalley
George Washburn Smalley (1833-1916), journalist and Times correspondent [more].

14.  Mrs
Mrs G. W. Smalley, wife of the journalist.

15.  Duke of Marlborough
George Charles Spencer-Churchill (1844-1892), 8th Duke of Marlborough [more] and Lillian Warren Spencer-Churchill (d. 1909), née Price, Duchess of Marlborough [more].

16.  Charles Whibley
Charles Whibley (1859-1930), writer and journalist [more].