The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 03403
Date: [27 September 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Lyme Regis
Recipient: Thomas Robert Way[2]
Place: London
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 155
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]

The Royal Lion Hotel. Lyme Regis

My dear Tom -

You seem to me to be all of you in a very distraught state - and to need very much a few short clear utterances from my long absent self! -

In the first place I can see that you [are] all disturbed about nothing at all - in the shape of Goulding[4]!!! What can it matter what he does? - He never in his life can print as your [p. 2] Father[5] and you do - and as to his "names" - and sketches on paper! - if I were to tell you a story concerning a certain fan, that I can and will tell you, you both would only be too amused at the inevitable upshot of all this plotting in Soho! -

The trouble is that you are in too great a flurry - and then you are so fastened to your old fancies - We could win all along the line in an exhibition perhaps - but the idea of sending to Paris[6]! such very early primitive and poor attempts as "Limehouse"! - and the Old Battersea Bridge !!! - The Nocturne[7] too is certainly not the thing that should represent me now - The Doctor[8] in [p. 3] short is the only thing that out of that lot ought to have gone, excepting always the model reading - And what a nice little group[9] you might have got together! - I dont know at this moment what the "Toilet[10]" is - but with the "Doctor", there might have been The Blanchiseuse, and the Fruitière - and La Belle Dame endormie, and the Belle New Yorkaise[11] - Two or three of the draped and dancing figures - The Confidences in the Garden[12] - and in short . . . .Well there again you are all wrong in your notion of the sense of things in France - In London they know absolutely nothing! nothing! nothing! - I am especially thinking of those who go to make an Exhibition, or who take an interest in the things shown - Whereas in Paris there is a great habit of technique - if only that - And absolutely childish[13] things could not appear without the ridicule they merit - Of this more by and bye - only I mean that it is always worth while being [p. 4] well represented over there - And if such things as I have seen (was it in the "Studio"? - where was it?) by Burlington House[14] people were to be shown, there would be a howl of derisive laughter! Wherefore you had better just pray that Goulding do succeed in getting together a large group of his famous persons - and that an exhibition be made, with much booming and hurrahing, of their precious works - This if you wish the atmosphere to be cleared!

I am sending today package of seven drawings - Do get them on stone directly - One, a light and rather dainty one of children in a doorway ought perhaps to be rushed on first - as it was a damp evening - and I fear the chalk might soon be affected - Mr. Pennell[15] tells me he has left a book of old paper with you as well as the Dutch of mine you already have - This French paper we bought together - It is very beautiful -

You[16] have printed many fine proofs on the same kind for me -

I do hope you will get a lot of colour out of these new drawings - They are very simple - and I hope your Father will like them! -

Write me a line tomorrow to say you have received them all right -

With kindest regards to your father.

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


Thomas Way Junr.
21. Wellington Street
[postmark:] LYME·REGIS / C / SP 27 / 95

[on verso:] If drawings dont arrive in morning, do make enquiries so that they dont remain all day Sunday in post.


1.  27 September 1895
Dated from the postmark.

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. 135-36, no. 141.

4.  Goulding
Frederick Goulding (1842-1909), printer and print-maker [more]. In 1895 Frederic Leighton and Alfred Gilbert, both members of the Royal Academy, accepted Goulding's offer to help them participate in the international centenary exhibition of lithography in Paris. Goulding supplied artists with transfer paper and drawing materials, and printed their lithographs, which were exhibited in the British section of the 5th Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1895. Some were reproduced in an article for The Studio, in which Goulding discussed the new transfer paper he had invented and his innovative techniques. When the major part of this British section was exhibited in London by Dunthorne in November 1895, the catalogue introduction noted Goulding's innovations and credited him with responsibility for the revival of lithography in England. See JW to T. R. Way, [31 July 1895], #03400, and [6 November 1895], #03410; Way, Thomas Robert, Memories of James McNeill Whistler, the Artist, London and New York, 1912, pp. 112-13; [White, Joseph William Gleeson], 'Lithographs and Their Printing: An Interview with Mr. Frederick Goulding', The Studio, no. 32, vol. 6, November 1895, pp. 86, 101; see Spink, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 193-195.

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

6.  Paris
Double underlined.

7.  Nocturne
Limehouse (C.7), Old Battersea Bridge (C.18), Nocturne (C.8).

8.  The Doctor
The Doctor (C.110).

9.  group
See T. R. Way's list of exhibits, 1 August 1895, #06121. For earlier exhibitions JW had mainly selected recent lithographs (see JW to T. R. Way, [24 December 1893], #03360). However, he accepted Thomas Way's choice of subjects, while suggesting the addition of more recent works; see Way, op. cit., pp. 113-14; see JW to T. R. Way, [31 July 1895], #03400).

10.  Toilet
The Toilet (C.10).

11.  Belle New Yorkaise
The Laundress: 'La Blanchisseuse de la Place Dauphine' (C.93), La Fruitière de la rue de Grenelle (C.106), La Belle Dame endormie (C.108) and La Jolie New Yorkaise (C.99).

12.  Confidences in the Garden
For example Draped Model, Dancing (C.50), Draped Model, Standing (C.74), and Confidences in the Garden (C.100).

13.  childish
Thomas Way had selected the early lithographs because they demonstrated a wide range of techniques (T. R. Way to JW, 1 August 1895, #06121, and Way, op. cit., pp. 113-14; JW to J. Pennell, 8 October 1895, #07808; see Spink, op.cit.).

14.  Burlington House
That is, lithographs by Royal Academicians.

15.  Mr. Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

16.  You
The remainder of the text is written at the top of p. 1.