System Number: 01158
Date: [1/5 April 1883]
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F90
Document Type: ALS
Useless my dear Huish! - quite useless -
Your generous nature too heavily handicaps your official flights into crime!
True I am no business man - but even I percieve [sic] how futile are these furtive attempts to filch the occasional fiver for the Board's banking ballance! [sic] -
You know that the Yellow man's wages do not come out of my pocket. -
[p. 2] You agreed to his engagement - livery and all - or he never would have been there at all -
he was one of the elements of the Exhibition - like the hangings and various arrangements in Canary - and I shall neither pay for the man - nor his socks, nor his hose, nor anything that is his. -
J McN. Whistler
13. Tite Street -
Kindly send me cheque for £6 - 4 - 0 witheld [sic] on the Catalogues already sold -
In Mr Mugford's account there is an error - The man sold in the room, 1958 catalogues, making £97 - 18 - 0
Mr Mugford only supposes £96 - 19 - 0 -
Besides this there are the Provincial orders not as yet noticed. -
There is a draft of this letter in the Library of Congress, written on the notepaper of the Beefsteak Club (PWC B/19/1).
The Board of Directors of the Fine Art Society.
5. Yellow man's wages
A reference to the door attendant engaged by JW for the preview of his exhibition Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883. He was dressed in white and yellow livery to fit in with JW's yellow and white colour scheme for the gallery. See Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 1, pp. 310-11.
Sales of the exhibition catalogue Etchings & Drypoints. Venice. Second Series were brisk, thanks to JW's decision to include disparaging comments from earlier reviews in the list of the works.