The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01025
Date: 4 October 1895
Author: Arthur Jerome Eddy[1]
Place: Chicago
Recipient: JW
Place: [Lyme Regis]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler E13
Document Type: ALS


My dear Mr. Whistler, -

After many days a letter from you! I found it on my return from New York, but in it was no copy of letter to Pall Mall[2].

I can tell you how glad I was to hear from you once more - but still you are silent as the sphinx about the return of the portrait[3] and the payment of what I still owe you. Do you [p. 2] want to go over the portrait again? If so, and you will not come here, then I shall make it a point to see you in Paris - portrait and all. Tell me so I may know what to do. And in this connection I enclose copy of letter just written Mr. Morris[4], - it explains itself. I would much rather the portrait be returned to you for you to do to it what you think best - then let it be exhibited over there first if you prefer. [p. 3] It is in no condition to exhibit now - it needs varnishing so badly.

By the way you never sent me the bill of the packer for making box &c. - send it on.

The Water Color[5] and Nocturne[6] will go to New York this week as you direct.

As to the lecture on art - there was but one - an entirely informal talk, witho[u]t a note or memorandum of any description. I have been asked so often to reduce it to writing that some day I may. I can usually recall [p. 4] any address or speech I make for a long time afterwards, as I never under any circumstances use notes. I think, perhaps, it would have pleased you if you had been present. About three hundred ladies and ten or twelve men were present - it was before "The Ant[i]quarians" - a womens society.

I saw "The duchess[7]" - your other Chicago subject - no time for conversation - what sort of a portrait did you make [p. 5] (2)[8] of her? She has some good features for a picture. I want to see her some day and talk you over - in fact - my dear Mr. Whistler, I am hungry for news of you.

Now to return to an old subject - why can you not come over? The sea voyage might do Mrs. Whistler[9] a world of good, Will you not come? [p. 6] You never refer to this matter in your letters, - is it because you have no intention of revisiting your native land? Come over and paint Mrs. Eddy[10] - I will guarantee you enough to pay all expenses and I am sure in money ways and in more senses than one the trip would be a profitable one. Furthermore I promise you a rare bottle of wine - or rather a bottle [p. 7] of rare wine - every night of your stay. Now - stand not upon the brink of hesitation, but come.

Why not send one of your best things to Philadelphia and compete for the prize? - I suppose Morris told you all about the matter.

What ever became of the little blue girl[11] - that was a picture I wanted - another thing I wish I could have and that is [p. 8] a portrait of yourself by yourself - you see my desires are modest.

Remember me to Mrs. Whistler - give her my best wishes for a speedy recovery - and with much more than regards for yourself,
I am yours

Arthur J Eddy

October fourth 1895

P. S. One year ago to-day I was with you - tortured - yet enjoying your ever delightful company -

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1.  Arthur Jerome Eddy
Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859-1920), writer and collector [more].

2.  letter to Pall Mall
See JW to A. J. Eddy, [25/31 March 1895], #01023.

3.  portrait
Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Brown: Portrait of Arthur J. Eddy (YMSM 425).

4.  Mr. Morris
Harrison Smith Morris (1856-1944), Directing Manager of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts [more].

5.  Water Color
Not identified.

6.  Nocturne
Possibly Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169).

7.  The duchess
Marion Peck (b. ca 1872), later Mrs Farquhar [more], who was posing more or less annually for Portrait of Miss Marion Peck (YMSM 439); it was never completed.

8.  [p. 5] (2)
Although numbered by Eddy as page '2', this is actually the fifth page of text. The printed letterhead also appears at the top of this page.

9.  Mrs. Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She had cancer and the Whistlers were in Lyme Regis in the vain hope that sea air would benefit her health.

10.  Mrs. Eddy
JW never painted Mrs Eddy.

11.  little blue girl
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Little Blue Girl (YMSM 421) had been bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more].