The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05029
Date: 19 May 1893
Author: Francis Gerard Prange[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P669
Document Type: ALS

19 May 1893

[crest with crown and rose:] THE REFORM CLUB

My dear & chér Directeur

D'abord - Place aux dames[2]. Every body is so d—d mischievous - why should your wife's picture[3] be thus mentioned. "This picture is not by J. M. W., as catalogued, but by Miss R. Birnie[4]" - thats the card pinned below the picture - It was "Rose" on the Tuesday - but why the paragraph?

2arily I went to [p. 2] see Richards[5] today & he tells me that Grau[6] had not brought him the picture[7] - or he had sent it on to Grau without cleaning it.

Anyhow he gets it tomorrow and on Tuesday it is to be up in its place. Whitsun folk are of no account - I notice that the price is £500 (Non e ver?[8]) the 5 is a bit like an 8.

I enclose you a note from Grau - scandalous! Entre nous[9] he is not a man to have any thing to do with. -

[p. 3] Herewith letter re Ford[10] - I've written him nothing & have nothing whatever to do with him. Have never heard from him since he wrote for a Catalogue. Your affidavits[11] prove the man to be all you say he is & I'm glad that my withers are unwrung - If I meet him I'll flay the devil.

[p. 4] Richards is a careful fellow & I have appointed him to do all our repairs - varnishings &c

I am writing Grau a note - Please ask Mrs Whistler to forgive Rose who after all "was a coal black Rose & we wish he may be whippit if he don't love Rose[12]"


F G Prange

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1.  Francis Gerard Prange
Francis Gerard Prange (b. ca 1843), London art dealer [more].

2.  D'abord - Place aux dames
Fr., ladies first.

3.  wife's picture
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

4.  Miss R. Birnie
She exhibited under the pseudonym 'Rix Birnie'.

5.  Richards
Stephen Richards (b. ca 1845), picture restorer [more].

6.  Grau
Frederick H. Grau (d. 1894/1895), picture framer [more].

7.  picture
Whistler in his Studio (YMSM 63); see Prange's letter to JW, 27 May 1893, #05032.

8.  Non e ver?
It., is it not true?

9.  Entre nous
Fr., Between ourselves.

10.  Ford
Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more].

11.  affidavits
See the affidavit of Frederick Hovey Allen (1845-1926), congressional minister and writer on art [more], 24 February 1893, #00144, and that written by JW, 6 May 1893, #01466.

12.  Rose
'Coal Black Rose' is an American folk song (n. d.), which is a veiled description of a lynching. Another song is 'Mammy's Little Coal Black Rose', lyrics by Raymond Egan, music by Richard A. Whiting (n. d., before 1916).