The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07870
Date: [26?] January 1898[1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Joseph Pennell[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 272/13/3
Document Type: ALS[3]

110. Rue du Bac - Paris

I wish enough I knew what it was all about this case of McCullochs[4]! Of course you think that he has made it thoroughly clear to me long ago - Not a bit of it my dear Joseph! - I am altogether out of it!

Tell McCulloch - though I doubt not, now that you say the case is over, you will [p. 2] see him no more - if by chance you do, tell him that I wish I could have been in it with him - whatever it was - for I have not the remotest idea - and that I wish him joy - Of course also the Academy[5] behaved abominably as usual - and I do hope you will be enabled to make it hot for them - Whatever you write I wish you would cut out and send to me - together with subsequent correspondence, if there be any -

Your Spielmann[6] business was most brilliant - Naturally you never answered his long dismal explanation -

The doubt you had of the Gentleman being "English" was excellent! - Yiddish! of course - and I was delighted -

What further news? -

And how are you all? -

Have you seen Heinemann[7]? - He is going to America - When? -

We are bringing out the Eden trial[8] - in separate little pamphlet - to serve as text book for future reference - When it appears there will doubtless be a hurrah - for they have not as yet grasped at all the pith of the whole thing - and that is that a new law has been made and that I have added to the Code Napoléon!! -

However, of this later on -

[p. 3] I had a letter from Kennedy[9] the other day - He seems to have expected you over there!? - Boldini[10] he thinks has done - or is doing well - but not much more - They consider him remarkable for technique? -

Someone sent me the other day The Critic, an English review - I could not make out who - or why! -

I am working - and the days here are bright - Sometimes when the sun with[h]olds a little, I know that in London it is black -

With kindest[11] regards to Mrs. Pennell[12] & yourself,

[butterfly signature]

Please send[13] me account of McCullochs trial -

This document is protected by copyright.


Joseph Pennell. Esq.
14. Buckingham Street
Angleterre -
[postmark:] [PARIS] / DEPART / [26?] / JANV / 98
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. W. C. / 6.15.PM / 27 [...] 98 / [2?]


1.  [26?] January 1898
Dated from the postmark, related correspondence and references to publication (see below).

2.  Joseph Pennell
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

3.  ALS
The stationery has a mourning border.

4.  McCullochs
George McCulloch (d. 1915), landscape painter [more].

5.  Academy
For a partial explanation of this affair, see Pennell's reply, #04584, and see also #04585.

6.  Spielmann
Marion Henry Alexander Spielmann (1858-1948), journalist and writer on art [more].

7.  Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

8.  Eden trial
JW is referring to his forthcoming account of his trial against Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more] (Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]). In 1894, JW quarrelled with him over the completion of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. Eden instituted legal proceedings against him in 1894 and the case dragged on for several years. The judgement was delivered on 2 December 1897 (see #01037). As JW said, it resulted in an amendement to French law (the Code Napoléon) giving the artist greater rights over the sale of his work.

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

10.  Boldini
Giovanni Boldini (1845-1931), portrait painter and etcher [more].

11.  With kindest ... [butterfly signature]
Written in the left margin of p. 1, at right angles to the main text.

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

13.  Please send ... trial -
Written in the left margin of p. 2, at right angles to the main text.