System Number: 09200
Date: [3 May 1879]
Author: Maud Franklin
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 28 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS
My Dear Mr Lucas,
This is only a line to thank you - [p. 2] We will send you more particulars soon.
Whistler sent you the book he promised a day or two ago. Have you received it?
I am very glad to say he is in capital spirits, and all the papers speak exceedingly well of the pictures in the Grosvenor - I have one or two Etchings that I shall have much pleasure in sending you as soon as things are a little smoother.
Very Sincerely Yours
We should like very much to get a line from you.
'Whistler. 3rd May 1879'Monsieur
Monsieur George Lucas
21 Rue de l'arc de Triomphe
Barrière de l'Etoile
[stamp]: TWO PENCE / HALF PENCE
[postmark:] CHELSEA SW / 4 2 / MY 5 / 79
[postmark on verso:] PARIS / illegible]
1. [3 May 1879]
Dated from Lucas's note on envelope. 3 May was a Saturday.
Published in Mahey, John A., 'The Letters of James McNeill Whistler to George A. Lucas,' Art Bulletin, XLIX, September 1967, pp. 247-57.
A reference to the fraught state of JW's financial and personal affairs. JW's financial problems reached crisis point in the aftermath of Whistler v Ruskin. He was declared bankrupt a few days later, on the 9 May (see bankruptcy papers, #08895, 11711). Maud herself had recently given birth to a daughter, Maud McNeill Whistler Franklin.
An auction sale of JW's effects, including paintings, etchings and drawings took place at the White House on 7 May 1879.
7. thank you
Maud and JW had recently been in Paris (see JW to G. A. Lucas, #09201) and Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, vol. 2, p. 472.
Whistler, James McNeill, Whistler v. Ruskin: Art and Art Critics, London, 1878, published in the aftermath of JW's libel suit, Whistler v Ruskin.
3rd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1879. JW exhibited works including Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190) and Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203) in the show.
For the last few months, JW had been printing and selling etchings to the Fine Art Society including Fulham (K.182) and more recently, Old Putney Bridge (K.178). JW may have been planning to offer one of these to Lucas.
13. Whistler ... 1879
Note written in Lucas's hand at right-angles to the main text on the envelope.