The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04343
Date: [13 November 1890][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Clarence W. McIlvaine[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler O8
Document Type: ALd


Dear Mr. McIlvaine -

I find myself in one of those awkward positions, which suggests a sort of mental cul de sac! -

The first impulse of the brave, man, under such circumstances, is I discover, to fly the country - doubtless to the relief of all concerned - Also the situations is absolutely new to me, in as much as my difficulties come upon me through Friends!

However I will [p. 2] "throw myself upon their generosity" - Why not! -

Now then - The "Songs upon stone"[4] -

I, with my impulsiveness, was so pleased, when you spoke to me of your wish to make yourselves in any way responsable [sic] for their production, that I instantly warmed to your proposal [...]

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1.  [13 November 1890]
Dated by reference to 'Songs upon stone' (see below, and see Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, p. 236).

2.  Clarence W. McIlvaine
Clarence W. McIlvaine (d. 1913), publisher and agent for Harper and Bros [more].

3.  21, CHEYNE WALK,
Address printed in orange ink.

4.  "Songs upon stone"
The Winged Hat (C.34) was the first of three lithographs to be published in The Whirlwind: A Lively and Eccentric Newspaper, 25 October 1890, under the title "Mr Whistler's 'Songs on Stone'." It was followed by The Tyresmith (C.36) and Maunder's Fish Shop, Chelsea (C.37) in November and December. McIlvaine proposed to bring out an edition of the lithographs but this did not come to pass.