The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09359
Date: 12 May [1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Marion Peck[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/34/22
Document Type: ALS

8. Fitzroy Street - Fitzroy Square

May 12 - '(1896)'

Dear Miss Peck -

You will doubtless have heard - and at such a moment you might naturally find it difficult to take further initiative in the matter of our sittings -

Therefore I wish at once to say that this particular picture was always one in which my wife[3] took great pleasure - and [p. 2] it would have greatly grieved her if I were to lose the occasion of your visit for making it as perfect as she knew it must become with very little more work -

So that I shall be ready for you when you come - which I suppose will be in the beginning of this next week -

Kindly let me hear from you, and meanwhile pray say to your Mama[4] from me that I have the dress and slippers[5] here - untouched as they were when you left them -

Very sincerely

J McNeill Whistler -

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1.  12 May [1896]
Dated from the reference to the death of Beatrix Whistler (see below). '1896' is added in another hand.

2.  Marion Peck
Marion Farquhar (b. ca 1872, m. 1897), née Peck [more], who was then sitting for Portrait of Miss Marion Peck (YMSM 439). It was never completed.

3.  my wife
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She died on 10 May 1896.

4.  your Mama
Annah B. Peck (b. ca 1850), patron [more].

5.  dress and slippers
Pennell described her in the portrait, posed 'in evening dress with her long white green lined cloak thrown back [...] the colour was a harmony in silver and green' (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 157).