The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Whittemore, Arthur Harris
Record 3 of 7

System Number: 09732
Date: [12 July 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: [At sea]
Repository: New York Public Library
Call Number: E. G. Kennedy I/67
Credit Line: Edward Guthrie Kennedy Papers / Manuscripts and Archives Division / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Document Type: ALS[3]

'July 12th 1895'

110. Rue du Bac. Paris.

My dear O K -

We missed you very much at the breakfast - to say nothing of the ceremony itself! -

Every thing of course was most distinguished - and the organ played a grand march on the occasion!

The bride[4] who was very superb was given away by no less a person than myself!! And the Lady[5] our Queen, [p. 2] you will be pleased to hear, was present, looking beautiful, and full of future health!

There is a piece of cake for you - which you can eat at your leisure and at your [pleasure?] in the open air on the quarter deck! -

You see with this is the little statement you wanted for the etchings - It was forgotten in the portfolio before that was packed - You can put it in yourself - The portfolio we will send on at once - by Colis Posteux[6] - The little O K.[7] must be packed separately - but shall go at once -

It is all right I have opened the portfolio & put the statement inside -

You know the Whistler portrait of the Ionides Collection[8] was sold for £700.

Tell Thomson[9] to show you the letter I wrote him about it -

I shall send over the Studio[10] - directly I get in the little head - When are you going? -

I am off now -
With many things from all of us

[butterfly signature]

Let me know if you hear from Reid[11] -

He has said nothing to me -

[p. 3, crest with flag and star]

'At Sea[12]

July 20 /95


This letter alludes to marriage of Miss Philip with Charles Whibley in Paris, to which I was invited but did not go, on account of business in London & I had just come from Paris. "The lady our Queen" is Mrs. W. who is ill, with cancer it is said. "The little O K." alludes to my portrait by Whistler which is a replica of a former one not so good but which was put aside. Same composition. The Ionides portrait of himself was painted by him at Valparaiso to see if he had "kept his knack" as he told me [p. 4] himself. Thompson [sic] is the manager at Boussod, Valadon & Co's. - D. Croal Thompson. "The Studio" is the painting of himself painting, one girl behind him in rose colored robe, and another, unfinished, on the sofa. He is to put a head on the one on the sofa & I am to buy it for 400/-/- It is fine but dear, as things go now. I wrote to Reid about a picture of Whistler's he has for sale but Reid did not answer. It is the "Fur Jacket", in which Whistler has some financial interest, &, which Reid asked 3000/-/- for in America.

E. G. Kennedy.

[p. 5] This was Caldwell[13] who had charge of the American Art Ex in Paris.

"L'Andolousienne[14]" I disposed of to Mr. Harris Whittemore.'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [12 July 1895]
Dated by the recipient at the top of p. 1.

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

3.  ALS
The recipient made extensive notes on p. 3 on the subject of the letter. This is the first dated extant reference to the nature of Beatrix Whistler's illness.

4.  bride
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more]. She was married on 11 July 1895 to Charles Whibley (1859-1930), writer and journalist [more].

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

6.  Colis Posteux
colis postal, Fr., parcel post.

7.  little O K
Portrait of E. G. Kennedy (2) (YMSM 404).

8.  Whistler portrait of the Ionides Collection
Alexander ('Aleco') Ionides (1840-1898), businessman [more], had sold Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter (YMSM 122).

9.  Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. In his letter, JW had refused to sign the picture further, [11 July 1895], #08305.

10.  Studio
Whistler in his Studio (YMSM 63).

11.  Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more]. He owned Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181).

12.  At sea
The remainder of the text is in E. G. Kennedy's hand.

13.  Caldwell
John Caldwell, Board Chairman, Carnegie Art Galleries [more], who wanted JW to design his bookplate, see J. Caldwell to E. G. Kennedy, 19 June 1895, #00504. This note was probably originally attached to E. G. Kennedy's letter to JW, 8 May 1900, #07323.

14.  L'Andolousienne
Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian (YMSM 378), which was sold to Arthur Harris Whittemore (1864-1927), businessman and collector [more]. This note is in another had, probably that of Kennedy. On another letter, Kennedy (after JW's death) noted that he had sold the painting to 'Whittemore of Naugatuck' (#09801).There is some confusion about this sale, and whether it was to Harris or to Harris's father, John Howard Whittemore (1837-1910), businessman and collector (see