The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 03361
Date: 11 January [1894][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Thomas Robert Way[2]
Place: London
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 118.1
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS[3]

110. Rue du Bac - Paris.

Thursday Jan. 11.

My dear Tom -

Many thanks for your letter[4] - You may say to Mr. Gleeson White[5], with my compliments, that I am pleased at their liking the "Gants de Suede"[6] - and that I am willing to let them have the use of the stone, as understood by yourselves, for "The Studio" (for one number) for 10 gs. This for the strict publication only - The proprietor and editor are not to have one single proof or print beyond those you print in their publication "The Studio" - certainly not!! -

Such a proposition was [p. 2] surely never heard of! -

No one has hitherto certainly ever dreamed of making it to me! -

I believe that Mr. Gleeson White cannot have understood its astounding audacity - and, on the part of Mr Holmes[7] himself, it could only have been thoughtless naïveté - and not the dazzling bit of "try on" it really looks like - and that amounts to genius!! -

Tell them, from me, to reflect upon their suggestion - : deliberately that I should give them, at their own calculation, fifty guineas[8], for ten pounds!! - over and above all the chances of profit or artistic interest that should accrue to their magazine because of the presence in it of the drawing itself. - Chances that Mr. Gleeson [p. 3] White, in his first letter to me, most assuredly thought good enough to induce him to write it, asking for a work, and proposing to pay for it - -

You don't suppose, do you, that Mr Thomson[9] has bethought himself of such brilliant business as this? for his Art Journal[10]? -

If Mr White and Mr Holmes are under such impression, you had better tell them, from me, that if Mr Thomson could ever, by any unwonted influence of his present Editorship upon his charming nature, have harboured, for a fleeting instant, in the uttermost parts of his journalistic mind, such a thought, he would, I know, have hastily thrust it from him, rather than run the risk of its utterance, in an unguarded moment, before me! -

However I daresay after all, with these gentlemen, it is as the Doctor would say, "better out than in" - and now we can go on all right! -

[p. 4] If then they would still like to have the Gants de Suède for the one number of "The Studio" under these clearly made out conditions, why then my dear Tom ask Mr Gleeson White kindly to write me a little letter of acceptance, and Mr Holmes can send me a cheque, and you can fire away and print the lithograph at once -

There is nothing as yet ready for the Art Journal - so that Mr Thomson will have to wait - at any rate he couldn't well have it for next month - so Mr White need not be afraid if he were to put mine in "The Studio" for Feb.

With kindest regards to your Father[11] & yourself,

[butterfly signature]

[p. 5] Private[12]

Now Tom do exactly as I tell you: - Take the enclosed letter, after reading it to your Father, round to Mr. Gleeson White yourself - and say to him: "I have had Mr. Whistler's answer to your proposal, and I think the best way is to give you his letter - and to read yourself and to show to Mr. Holmes" -

Then let him have the letter - and see how he and his Proprietor like it -

Make him give you back the letter afterwards Tom - you might like to keep it as a rare instance of business perception in an artist! - You ought to show it to the doctor[13] -

This document is protected by copyright.


Tom Way. Junr.
21. Wellington Street
[postmark:] PARIS / 80 / R. DU BAC / 7E 12 / JANV / 94
[postmark:] LONDON / W. C. / C. X. / BA / JA 13 / 94


1.  11 January [1894]
Dated from the postmark and the date '11 Jan 94' written in another hand on p. 1.

2.  Thomas Robert Way
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more].

3.  ALS
Published by Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, pp. 87-88, no. 75.

4.  letter

5.  Gleeson White
Joseph William Gleeson White (1851-1898), writer on art, first editor of the Studio [more].

6.  Gants de Suede
Gants de suède (C.35) was published in The Studio, vol. 1, no. 3, 16 April 1894.

7.  Holmes
Charles Holme (1848-1923), founding editor of The Studio from 1893-1922 [more].

8.  fifty guineas
Double underlined.

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

10.  Art Journal
Thomson had originally suggested using Vitré: The Canal (C.63), then Conversation under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens (C.69), and eventually they agreed on Nursemaids: 'Les Bonnes du Luxembourg' (C.81), which was printed in an edition of about 3000 and published in The Art Journal, vol. 46, no. 120, December 1894.

11.  Father
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

12.  Private
Triple underlined; this note was written on a separate sheet, because the first part of the letter was intended for circulation.

13.  doctor
Possibly William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]. 'You ought -' is written in the right margin, at right angles to the main text.