The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04629
Date: 18 July 1902
Author: Harrison Smith Morris[1]
Place: Philadelphia
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P269
Document Type: TLS




July 18, 1902.

James McNeill Whistler, Esq.,
London, England.

My dear Mr. Whistler:-

Since that memorable night at Mrs Pennell's[2], when Mrs Morris[3] and I had the pleasure and honor of meeting you and hearing the brilliant talk which has no counterpart in all my recollection, we have never done laughing at your wit and pondering on your wise sentiments regarding West Point[4].

It was my hope that I could find General Wheeler[5] before leaving London and tell him of your courteous desire to see him, but when I called he was away and no other opportunity occurred during the few days which remained of our stay.

One of the things in Paris which we dwelt on most was your group in the New Salon[6] and you will forgive me I hope, if I make this letter of thanks to you for a memorable night convey the hope that you would care to permit us to have for our next Annual Exhibition[7], your Paris group, or any part of it which you would do us the honor to contribute. The exhibition does not open until the middle of (p. 2) January next and there is thus more than time, but I could not repress my wish to acknowledge the charm of that brilliant night and in doing so, I venture to touch on the subject of the pictures.

It would have been a deep and great honor to have called on you in London but this I feared you might not care for in your unsettled condition, and I sincerely trust that the distressing actions of your neighbor[8] have been punished with your usual completeness and promptness.

It is a satisfaction to know that the Gold Medal[9], which we did ourselves the honor to send you in March last, arrived safely in your hands, and with sincere assurances of regard from both Mrs Morris and myself, I beg you to permit me to remain,

Yours very truly,

Harrison S. Morris

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1.  Harrison Smith Morris
Harrison Smith Morris (1856-1944), Directing Manager of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts [more].

2.  Mrs Pennell's
Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographer [more].

3.  Mrs Morris
Mrs Morris, wife of Harrison S. Morris.

4.  West Point
The United States Military Academy where JW was a cadet-at-large from 1851-54.

5.  General Wheeler
James Wheeler, Jr (b. ca 1830-d.1879), class-mate of JW at USMA, West Point, later Professor of Engineering [more].

6.  New Salon
12th Exhibition, Ouvrages de Peintures, Sculpture, Dessin, Gravure, Architecture et Objets d'Art, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1902.

7.  Annual Exhibition
72nd Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1903.

8.  neighbor
In March 1902, JW leased a house from Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942), architect [more] at 74 Cheyne Walk (JW to W. Webb, #06267). It was an unfortunate choice as he spent a lengthy period over the summer being tormented by noisy building work next door (see JW to Ashbee's foreman, #00208). Ashbee had previously owned the property next door and JW blamed him for his predicament (JW to W. Webb, #06268).

9.  Gold Medal
See E. Coates to JW, #04626 and Morris to JW, #04627.