The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04002
Date: 15 May 1893
Author: Howard Mansfield[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M273
Document Type: ALS

'May 15. 93.'[2]


Dear Mr. Whistler;

Your etchings were in place at the opening of the Chicago Fair, although no other prints were in readiness to be seen in the United States section; and at least four of your paintings were hung, while but few comparatively of the paintings by American artists were on the walls.

I received your letter as I was on the point of sending the list to Chicago for use in preparing the catalogue. Of course I made what changes I could in [p. 2] accordance with your suggestions. They could not all be made, because the frames had already gone to Chicago, and there was not time to make more. Fortunately an extra frame had gone large enough for "Annie Haden[3]", and by leaving out "Maude[4]" and "Speke Hall[5]", it became possible to include "The Smithy[6]" and "The Barber's Shop[7]". But there were no frames of the right size for "Finette[8]" or "The Mast[9]", or "Cameo No. 1[10]". I will send you a list of the fifty-nine prints which now represent you. They are chosen impres-[p. 3]sions, and make a brave show. They were hung together, three deep, on the line, in a space by themselves. But it was arranged with Mr. Ives[11] that they should be better hung, in the best place in the upper gallery where the light is finest. There they will have the whole front of a screen thirty feet long shaped thus [diagram with dimensions '7ft 16ft 7ft'][.] I have arranged the etchings for the most part in chronological order, but so that the Venice etchings[12] will be grouped in the centre. There, too, they will be hung in three lines.

[p. 4] Your paintings which I saw on the walls before I came away are "Lady Archibald Campbell[13]", and "Portrait of a Lady[14]", of about the same size, "The "Lady of the Porcelaine Country[15]", "The Chelsea Girl[16]", and "Nocturne - Valparaiso[17]". I wrote to Mr. Untermeyer[18] about "The Falling Rocket[19]", but it was then rather late to arrange for its going to Chicago, and I don't know whether it has been sent or not.

You and Mrs. Whistler[20] are well, I trust. Please let me be cordially remembered to Mrs. Whistler.

Yours faithfully,

Howard Mansfield.

May 15 / 93

To Mr. J. McNeill Whistler.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Howard Mansfield
Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), New York lawyer, print collector [more]. He had organised a group of etchings for exhibition at the World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893.

2.  'May 15. 93.'
Written in the hand of Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], in pencil.

3.  Annie Haden
Annie Haden (K.62).

4.  Maude
Maude, Standing (K.114) or Maude, Seated (K.115).

5.  Speke Hall
Speke Hall, No.1 (K.96) or Speke Hall, No.2 (K.143).

6.  The Smithy
The Smithy (K.240)

7.  The Barber's Shop
The Barber's (K.271).

8.  Finette
Finette (K.58)

9.  The Mast
Probably The Mast (K.195).

10.  Cameo No. 1
Cameo No.1 (Mother and Child) (K.347).

11.  Mr. Ives
Halsey Cooley Ives (1847-1911), painter [more], and chief of the Fine Arts Department of the World's Columbian Exhibition Corporation.

12.  Venice etchings
Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5), or possibly A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).

13.  Lady Archibald Campbell
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

14.  Portrait of a Lady
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181).

15.  Lady of the Porcelaine Country
La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50).

16.  The Chelsea Girl
The Chelsea Girl (YMSM 314).

17.  Nocturne - Valparaiso
Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Valparaiso Bay (YMSM 76).

18.  Mr. Untermeyer
Samuel Untermyer (1858-1940), lawyer, capitalist and philanthropist [more].

19.  The Falling Rocket
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170).

20.  Mrs. Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].