The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06548
Date: 13 March 1872
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: London
Recipient: James H. Gamble[2]
Place: [Staten Island]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W542
Document Type: AL[3]

2 Lindsey Houses Chelsea

Wednesday March 13th 1872

My dear Mr Gamble

I should have directed to you at the 3rd Homeland, even your own in the Highlands, had not your dear Sister[4] told me of yourself & Harriet[5] occupying her home on Staten Island. Think of the pleasant surprise I felt at Mr[6] & Mrs Wann coming in last Saturday afternoon both looking so well, their countenances as usual beaming with loving kindness, it was tantalizing to me that they had to turn back to the Langham[7], to close their N York letters for Queenstown. they barely stepped into the Studio to look at my Portrait[8], but I have just posted a note to your Sister to ask her to indulge my wish for a friendly chat, by her coming to lunch here tomorrow or next day and I hope ere they leave London my Artist - Son[9] may have sent in the Pictures[10] which confine him so, that he can neither enjoy calling to see friends, or entertain them at home. I am sure he will be most glad to shew every attention when at liberty, to my dear friends Mr & Mrs Wann. We are in the pressure of the Season, & he begins work directly after our eight ocl breakfast regularly. he is perfecting the Portrait of Mr Leyland[11] & trying to finish a beautiful life size of Mrs L[12], the pictures must be sent to the Royal Academy[13] the 1st or 2nd day of April, though the Exhibition is not to be til a month later. I will not build castles or anticipate rewards to Jemie's diligence. I was sorry that a very large & beautiful painting[14] had been sent away only the day before Mr & Mrs Wann came to see us, for they will not stay to see the International Exhibition[15] at the South Kensington Museum & I am sure you [p. 2] will feel interested in your friend Jemie coming before the London Artistic world after his withdrawal for perfecting his Studies. I shall send you any Articles which may appear upon his share in the exhibition. D V - he has become an early riser, that he may benefit by and enjoy a row on the river, from 7 ocl til 8, when he comes in to breakfast with hunger for Hominy[16] & milk, it is his only meal til the 7 ocl dinner, or even later, while he works almost without respite, he realizes no desire for food, but only to work whilst it is called today.

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1.  Anna Matilda Whistler
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

2.  James H. Gamble
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more].

3.  AL
Letter incomplete.

4.  Sister
Jane Wann (1822-1875), née Gamble, wife of S. Wann [more].

5.  Harriet
Harriet Gamble, née Wheaton, wife of J. H. Gamble.

6.  Mr
Samuel Wann (b. 1820), merchant, brother-in-law of J. H. Gamble [more].

7.  Langham
Langham Hotel, Portland Place, London, built in 1863. The Swifts had also stayed there when they visited London in 1870; see AMW to Catherine Jane Palmer, 29 October 1870, #11841.

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

9.  Son
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

10.  sent in the Pictures
Probably a reference to Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) shown in the International Exhibition, South Kensington Museum, London, 1872. JW had intended to send the Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (YMSM 38) but was forced to show Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) instead. The former was then owned, in theory, by Julia de Kay Whistler (1825-1875), née Winans, JW's sister-in-law. However, JW was repairing it for inclusion in the International Exhibition; see JW to Alan Summerly Cole, [May 1872], #09021, #09020.

11.  Mr Leyland
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more]. The portrait mentioned here is Arrangement in Black: Portrait of F. R. Leyland (YMSM 97).

12.  Mrs L
Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more]. The portrait is Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink: Portrait of Mrs Frances Leyland (YMSM 106).

13.  Royal Academy
The only painting JW exhibited in the 104th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1872, was Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101).

14.  painting
Probably Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl (YMSM 38); see Andrew McLaren Young, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980, p. 17.

15.  International Exhibition
International Exhibition, South Kensington Museum, London, 1872.

16.  hominy
See AMW to George Washington Whistler, [8/21 June 1848], #06358.