The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09170
Date: [6 September 1879][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Ada Maud Jarvis[2]
Place: Blunham, Bedfordshire
Repository: Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Call Number: 22. Mus. A/Gen/Art/W
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mrs Jarvis -

You must be very much astonished at my strange silence after your most kind note[3] - but I trust you will forgive me when I tell you that I have been overwhelmed with propositions for going abroad[4] - and my Mother[5] has been quite ill so that I ran down to see her for a couple of days - However [p. 2] I have had a frame made for your picture[6] - and it goes down to you on Monday - together with the proof Mr Jarvis[7] chose of "the Pool[8]" - which they have packed in the same box -

The little head ought to have been far away more charming - but I did my best at the time which I am afraid is very poor -

I shall try and run down to Blunham[9] for an afternoon before leaving altogether - that I may see the new house and settle with the color[10] [sic] of doors and windows! - This would, probably be in the middle of next week but I would telegraph before hand -

With kindest regards to Mr Jarvis and yourself
Very sincerely yours

J A McN Whistler

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1.  [6 September 1879]
Dated from postmark as recorded in a letter from Knoedler's (GUL).

2.  Ada Maud Jarvis
Ada Maud Jarvis (1850-1919), née Vesey Dawson [more].

3.  note
Letter untraced.

4.  abroad
Aided by an advance of £150 from the Fine Art Society, JW would depart for Venice in mid September to work on a commission for a set of twelve etchings, Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

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

6.  picture
Ada Jarvis had recently been sitting for Portrait of Mrs Lewis Jarvis (YMSM 206). See JW to A. M. Jarvis, #09172.

7.  Mr Jarvis
Lewis Page Jarvis (1845-1900), brewer and collector [more].

8.  The Pool
Probably The Large Pool (K.174) but possibly The Pool (K.43).

9.  Blunham
The Jarvis's country house near Bedford.

10.  settle with the color
JW's plans were not carried through until after his return from Venice in November 1880 when he seems to have designed a decorative frieze for the Jarvis's drawing-room. See Houfe, Simon, 'Whistler in the Country: His Unrecorded Friendship with Lewis Jarvis,' Apollo, vol. 98, no. 140, October 1973, pp. 282-285.