The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06092
Date: 17 January 1892
Author: Thomas Robert Way[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W89
Document Type: ALS[3]

43 Upper Berkeley St
Portman Square

Jany 17 / 92.

Dear Mrs Whistler

As you wished me, I will write the main points I mentioned to you when bringing you the proofs this evening. I told you the following:- that I had had a letter from Goupils[4] to say that Graves[5] threatened to make a claim of £50 in the event of their publishing my lithograph of Mr Whistler's portrait of his mother[6] - That I interviewed Mr A Graves[7], and that on hearing the whole of the facts connected with the [p. 2] proposed publication, he voluntarily offered to forego all his rights if we agreed to give him 25 proofs. He declined for the present to give permission to publish the Carlyle[8] - He then explained his reasons for the first demand of £50, and they seemed to be, that he was annoyed at the sale of the picture for reasons I mentioned to you, and also at what seemed to him an attempt to make money out of what was his property, namely the copyright of the picture. He declared that his rights in the three pictures are perfectly clear and straightforward. He also said that [p. 3] he had bought the three mezzotint plates of the mothers portrait, the Carlyle, and the Rosa Corder[9] from the executrix of Mr Howell[10], and that the prints were selling.

He was most anxious to have two proofs of one of the prints signed by Mr Whistler, and hearing that he was in Paris, and was anxious to send these proofs over for Mr Whistler to sign. He asked me if I could get the address for them, and declared that he would wait about the matter of the picture till he could see Mr Whistler personally on his [p. 4] return -

I think that is all - and as I told you, I mentioned these matters in no sense as an advocate of Mr Graves, but simply in the hope of preventing unpleasant consequences, which I thought might possibly occur, and which I also thought the signing of these proofs he asks for might help to prevent.

I remain yours Sincerely

Tom. R. Way.

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1.  Thomas Robert Way
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more].

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

3.  ALS
Published in Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, pp. 47-48, no. 26.

4.  Goupils
D. C. Thomson, manager of the Goupil Gallery, London art dealers.

5.  mother
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101).

6.  Graves
Henry Graves (1806-1892), print dealer and founder of H. Graves and Co. [more].

7.  Mr A Graves
Algernon Graves (1845-1922), of H. Graves and Co., print dealers [more].

8.  Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137).

9.  Rosa Corder
Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203). All three oils had been mezzo-tinted by Richard Josey and marketed in 1878-1880.

10.  executrix of Mr Howell
Alice Mary ('May') Chambers (1855-after 1918), artist, executrix of C. A. Howell [more].