The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09203
Date: [17/30 May 1884][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 01 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS[3]

Dear Lucas -

How are you? - also what interest do you take in me and all the pictures? -

You don't come over here and I am thinking of going over to you -

Maud[4] sends her love to you and Madame[5] and deliberately offers herself as your guest for a day or two next week if you have still the little spare room -

I should then come and take her away before you are [well?] tired of her -

How horrid of those infernal American people[6] [p. 2] about the taxes - but for that I should have had another gold medal -

Dont you like my pictures at the Salon[7] - and wouldn't you like to come over here and see my Show[8] in Bond Street?

With kindest regards from both and many things to Madame
Always Yrs

J McN. Whistler

Seriously you should make the wealthy Americans who come to London come to my Exhibition and buy beautiful pictures - for now there are plenty most portable - small and dainty -

I shall send you catalogue to bind up with the other brown paper pamphlets -[9]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [17/30 May 1884]
Dated by reference to exhibition in Bond Street, which sounds from the tone of the letter as though it had just opened (see below).

2.  George Aloysius Lucas
George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Mahey, John A., 'The Letters of James McNeill Whistler to George A. Lucas,' Art Bulletin, XLIX, September 1967, pp. 247-57, p. 255, XIX, with date of 'early summer, 1884', and minor variations of spelling and punctuation.

4.  Maud
Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more].

5.  Madame
Octavie Josephine de Macedo-Carvalho (1833-1909), née Marchand, probable mistress of George A. Lucas [more].

6.  infernal American people
Consular certificates were necessary for the import and export of paintings for sale or exhibition. It is not clear which exhibition JW missed.

7.  Salon
JW showed two of his finest works from the 1870s, Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129) and Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), at 102nd exhibition, Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture, gravure et lithographie des artistes vivants, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1884.

8.  show
'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884. The majority of the paintings were small oils and watercolours, such as The Pier: A Grey Note (YMSM 286), which measured only 87 x 148 mm.

9.  brown paper pamphlets -
JW's first brown paper covered pamphlet was Whistler, James McNeill, Whistler v. Ruskin: Art and Art Critics, London, 1878. Subsequent pamphlets and catalogues followed the same pattern, including that for the 1884 Dowdeswell show which included 'Proposition No. 2'.