The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08233
Date: [12 May 1893][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress, Washington DC
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 3
Document Type: ALS[3]

110 Rue du Bac

Dear Mr Thomson -

Well - in the first place thanks for your letter[4] this morning which I read with great interest -

Then about the portfolio[5] - For Heavens sake never send any parcel by this route again! There are endless formalities - and I had to go myself all across Paris and sign endless papers [p. 2] that took up a whole morning - This was my fault I know - for I hurried you - However it will always be better to send everything through your house[6] -

Now - I am afraid I am rather disappointed. The Album was unfortunately badly packed and was all creased and even torn by a nail in the case! -

As to the cover - I think it a little flimsy - in any case I would have a yellow ribbon on the two end flaps so that they at least may tie together. [sketch of Album[7]] That may do something towards strengthening the whole -

Then the title and contents ought not to be on one folded sheet - Each should be separate - I would cut the present sheet in two - [sketch of two separate pages]

[p. 3] In signing the proofs I find considerable difference in their condition - There is no doubt that the negatives have given most remarkably beautiful proofs - If you only sift them out and insist upon it you can have perfect collections - At present some of the Carlyles[8] are too pale - and some of the Valparaiso Crepuscule[9]s are too black -

Otherwise seriously I think when they are seen they will be a success -

Very sincerely yours

J McN Whistler


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1.  [12 May 1893]
Dated from the date stamp of receipt, which probably represents the day after the actual writing of this letter.

2.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

3.  ALS
'5xC' written in another hand in red ink at top left and '63' in pencil at bottom right of p. 1.

4.  your letter
Probably D. C. Thomson to JW, 11 May 1893, #05778.

5.  portfolio
A selection of photographs of oil paintings, mostly those exhibited in Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892. It was in brown paper with gold lettering.

6.  house
Goupil Gallery (Boussod, Valadon & Cie).

7.  sketch of Album
Design for an album for 'Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces' (M.1361).

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

9.  Valparaiso Crepuscules
Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso (YMSM 73).