The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07259
Date: 30 August-15 September 1895
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1247
Document Type: ALS


[scroll:] H. WUNDERLICH & CO.
H W & CO.
868 B'WAY N- Y-

Aug. 30th 1895

My dear Mr. Whistler,

I hasten to acknowledge your letter[3] of 5th inst., but which bears Paris post mark of 16th. I confess I had overlooked the passage in the Gentle Art[4], but Chapman's[5] brother[6] related the whole story to me. It is, I dare say, mortifying to find that pictures which were practically given away at the time they were painted, are now sold for ten times as much, but there is the other side, which is obvious to you, viz. Whistler gets high prices too now. I must say that Mr. Chapman treated me like a gentleman. He was most affable, polite and agreable , as well as frank.

He said he was not particular about selling his Whistlers, but if he got any tempting prices, he would sell them. He may be the deep-dyed villian, of [p. 2] which you speak, but I found him as I have told you. If he hadn't been as I describe him, you would never have been intimate with him at any time, would you?

Sep. 15th.

I have returned from my fishing expedition to Lake Champlain, where the air is dry & delightful. Though at times the sun is very hot, still the air is such, that one is never a "dem, damp, unpleasant body" such as Mr. Mantilini[7] describes.

I was camping out on an island there with a friend and everything was of the al fresco order. The island is small and no other shanty on it, so we were monarchs of all we surveyed & a lovely prospect it was then. This is the picturesque historic lake of America. The French came down through this with their Indian allies from Montreal, and the colonists [p. 3][8] from Massachussets and New York with a sprinkling of regulars, used to rendevous at Albany and then proceed to Whitehall through an unbroken wilderness

[sketch map of lake with place names:] Ticonderoga / New York Side / To Montreal / Vermont side / Crown Point / Whitehall

The lake is 125 miles long and quite narrow, but it is very beautiful, mountains on all sides, except at the arm towards Montreal. It is fine

[p. 4] Come over and try it. Often 20 below zero in winter - Farenheit.

The "Sea and rain[9]" is very fine.

No, I merely went out of my way to Liverpool to see the Whistler's, instead of going to Southampton. He[10] would sell the Bognor[11] I suppose if he got a large price for it, but he does not care to sell any thing otherwise. The Bognor I admire very much. It has a most wonderful blue sky & is a masterpiece. The stars twinkle!

I have heard nothing from Eddy[12] of Chicago, so hope you have not forgotten to write to him.

When I said £700/-/- was a large price for a head, I meant that there are many other Whistlers which I would rather pay that amount for. This is a matter of opinion however & I may be wrong. No, I don't care to have any thing to do with Prange[13] at the price quoted for "Sarasate[14]" with [p. 5] a view of buying.

I think I explained about the proof for Mrs. Gardiner[15] & the others, which I thank you for signing. It was very good of you, but then you are always most obliging in that way.

I got a letter from Mrs. Whibley[16] telling me that you had gone to the Country but that Mrs. Whistler[17] didn't like it and was going to England. I sincerely hope by this time that you are in better spirits & that you will have no more worry about madame's health, which is, I trust, restored. She has had a long seige of it.

I have got a lot of very fine old paper in small pieces, just the [p. 6] thing for printing on, but unfortunately you are not doing any thing now in the etching way.

I shall bring the O'K[18] - over next year again for reparation to his upper lip which looks like a hare lip somewhat. Otherwise is is all right

I shall use your newspaper cuttings in the way you suggest. I am pleased that you got the Eden[19] Case, so far. I suppose there is some other problem of that mysterious process called Law to be gone through with yet. I am very much interested and shall be glad to know the outcome.

With kindest regards to madam,
I am,
Yours Sincerely

E. G. Kenendy.

You got Kurtz's[20] catalogue of course. What about John Caldwell's[21] book mark?

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

G. Dieterlen, employee at H. Wunderlich and Co., New York.

3.  your letter

4.  Gentle Art
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.

5.  Chapman's
Alfred Chapman (1839-1917), engineer and collector [more].

6.  brother
Either George R. Chapman (b. 1834), artist [more], or Dr Chapman.

7.  Mr. Mantilini
A foppish, bankrupt milliner, who exclaims 'A demd, damp, moist, unpleasant body!' in Dickens, C., Nicholas Nickleby, 1839, Chapter 34.

8.  [p. 3]
The printed address header is repeated on pp. 3 and 5 (as on p. 1).

9.  Sea and rain
Sea and Rain (YMSM 65).

10.  He
Alfred Chapman.

11.  Bognor
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100).

12.  Eddy
Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859-1920), writer and collector [more].

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

14.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315).

15.  Mrs. Gardiner
Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), née Stewart, collector [more].

16.  Mrs. Whibley
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more]. She had written to Kennedy on 6 July 1895, #09730.

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

18.  O'K
Portrait of E. G. Kennedy (2) (YMSM 404).

19.  Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW had won the case on appeal, and was allowed to keep Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408).

20.  You got Kurtz's
The remaining text is added in the space at the top of p. 1. Kennedy here refers to Charles McMeen Kurtz (1855-1909), Director of Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and Assistant Chief, U. S. Fine Art Department, World's Columbian Exposition [more]. The catalogue was for World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893 (JW's copy is in Glasgow University Library Whistler EC1893).

21.  John Caldwell's
John Caldwell, Board Chairman, Carnegie Art Galleries [more]. JW never completed his commission to design a bookmark.