The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 03183
Date: [10] January 1893[1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Edwin Austin Abbey[2]
Place: [London or Fairford, Gloucestershire]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 4/233/2-235/1
Document Type: MsLc[3]

110 Rue du Bac - Paris -

January. 1893.

My dear Abbey -

I have just received your letter[4] which has crossed my own -

There seems to me to be no "hitch" in the matter excepting perhaps delay on the part of Mr Ives[5] - He tells you in his last letter, that he will send you the list of Mr Whistler's pictures, therefore he doesn't know the hurry that Mr Bourlet[6] is in -

Of course if my pictures are not got in the time fixed by Bourlet, they must just go afterwards that's all -

Mr Ives asked me to send and at his own request I long ago gave him written authority to act for me, so that of course I expect to be thoroughly well represented or I should have taken no action in the matter whatever -

Perhaps you might cable asking Ives if he has himself, already asked the owners for the loan of Whistler's pictures and so get some clear understanding of the situation -

Meanwhile Mr Alexander Reid[7] 227 West George Street Glasgow - has promised the three [p. 2] pictures I told you about in yesterday's letter[8]. I have asked him to write to you.

Then there is D. C. Thompson[9]. Goupil Gallery Bond Street London, who has kindly undertaken to write to two or three owners, of smaller pictures - Will you write to him? - He was going to deal with Bourlet direct but you see that Bourlet seems quite unprepared - look at his letter to Reid - by the way, what can be the meaning of his great haste to receive works and at the same time his refusal to receive those that Reid was going to send him? - and what about his saying he has no instructions? -

My pictures can't be late if he has had no others, he can't send an empty ship to America simply in order that it may leave by a fixed date -

I am sending you enclosed the list[10] as well as I can remember that I sent to Mr Ives. The only way in which we can hope for these pictures, (with the exception of Reid's & one or two others) is through the intervention of Official request, for you must quite understand that personally I can do nothing - The owners having, as a mass, behaved so very badly to me, and are in spirit so antagonistic that they would be very sure to refuse anything I asked -

A request however coming from the American authorities, with a hope perhaps also of selling these paintings in Chicago, may induce the thrifty Briton to lend his property.

With sympathetic sorrow for the trouble this gives us all
[p. 3] Always yours

J. McN. Whistler.

I certainly think some attempt might be made to borrow the Carlyle[11] from Glasgow.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [10] January 1893
Dated from reference to three Reid pictures in 'yesterday's letter' (see JW to E. A. Abbey, 9 January 1893, #03182).

2.  Edwin Austin Abbey
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), painter and illustrator [more].

3.  MsLc
Copy made by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], of a letter dictated by JW to Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

4.  your letter
Untraced. It related to the World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893, for which Abbey was negotiating loans with JW (see E. A. Abbey to JW, #00001; JW to Abbey, #03182; #03184). See also Abbey to JW, #09702, in which Abbey enquires of JW's exhibition plans.

5.  Mr. Ives
Halsey Cooley Ives (1847-1911), painter [more].

6.  Mr. Bourlet
James Bourlet (b. ca 1852), art dealer, of Bourlet and Sons, Ltd [more].

7.  Alexander Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more], lent La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50), Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181) and Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

8.  yesterday's letter
See #03182.

9.  D. C. Thompson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

10.  the list
Possibly #03181.

11.  Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), owned by the Glasgow Corporation.