UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09745
Date: [8/25 April 1896][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: [New York]
Repository: New York Public Library
Call Number: E. G. Kennedy II/84
Credit Line: Edward Guthrie Kennedy Papers / Manuscripts and Archives Division / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Document Type: ALS


O.K! my dear Kennedy -

now this is our new address: "St. Jude's Cottage" - Heath End - Hampstead -

Now what do you think of that? - You never supposed that would come out of the Rue du Bac! -

This will be a scrappy sort of a peripatetic(!) note - carried about in my pocket and just caught up whenever I may borrow a pencil -

Yes, then - I am at length entangled in a landscape [p. 2] at the top of 'amstead 'eath!!! - Well well, as you say. Who knows what fund of drollery there really is in "things"! - Look at the trouble I took to get rid of this infernal country! and here I am again - up to my knees in place! -

However, if the Lady[3] will only get strong and well nothing matters - and we will forget it all by and bye! -

Your letter of the (3rd) has just come - I read it to the dear Lady - and she was much pleased and touched with all your nice messages - But my dear O K it is a long long and weary trouble! - and we go up and down in our anxiety. But here by the way the famous bottle of cocktails appears this very morning April and with the first glass fresh spirit and hope as you prophesied! - Most excellent & wonderful the Martini! - and very nice of you! I need not say that I drank your health OK with that of the Lady! I suppose by this you have had the "modest" lithographs! - Mind you, you are disappointing in that you do not in any way particularise your liking for the last batch - As to the men growling about the escaped difficulties of the stone as compared to the ease of paper, tell them with my compliments that they are quite right! They have hit the nail on the head! Mere drawing, composition, arrangement & the rest of it, is ridiculous unless linked with athletics! and the lugging about of heavy stone in the street means open honesty and possibly even art - while the substitution of mere "paper," is subterfuge and trickery - and meretriciousness. I am found out! and don't know my dear O K what is to become [p. 3] of you my only Editor, Publisher - in America!

However from our old point of view, let us go back to the consideration of one or two things - You say that the prices of some of these proofs is excessive - Now O K. this all depends upon the way in which you look at it - If[4] it be that lithographs are supposed to represent cheapness in art, or, let us say, production, well then I agree with you - Perhaps indeed this notion may have been further fostered unconsciously by yourself, if, as I understand, you have been exhibiting the Dunthorne[5] show!! - But if these drawings - whether done on paper - stone or copper, are to be considered as drawings[6] & art works as compared with others by the same man, well then I would point out that collectors must learn to pay for them as they would do were they adding to their etchings - or in short increasing their collection of choice work - and not as if they were acquiring cheap "articles" of the nature of [p. 4] "reproduction" - or popular "process" - voila!

Now I am sending you three more beauties - After all O K I had better tell you this as you, with your preference for the "Priest's House[7]," (which I am going to destroy) may not know it -

It is certainly very unsatisfactory in your letters to find no enthusiastic details concerning any of the last batch of lovely proofs received - Not a word about the "St Anne's, Soho[8]"! nothing about the "Little London[9]"! not about the "Waterloo dawn[10]"! and yet these were so far the finest things I had done - and really mark something "new" in lithography -

Well then I will tell you that the Butcher's dog[11] is my special delight - and contains qualities still further [p. 5] developed - but what is the use! -

The wash drawing will have another state yet -

Of the Smith[12] you shall hear directly -

Tell me when to expect you -

The Firewheel[13] arrived in pitiable condition! All the varnish perished - and the background quite invisible - covered with patches of dim grey - No wonder no one could see anything in it - Had it at once cleaned, revarnished - Beautiful again! - Sold at once for 1000 guineas - So thats all right - I'm afraid Mr Pope[14] will have to tear his hair over this - Makes me wonder if Carmen[15] be not in same awful condition - What is the cause? Can it be the salt air crossing? -

[p. 6] Keeping Smith[16] a bit to see if further precious touches - probably between 700 & 800 gs -

The Lady not quite so well! - This terrible weather - Still we hope give better account next mail -

Affectionate messages from us both - Kindest regards to your brother -
Always

[butterfly signature]

Sent by this mail registered from Lauser:
3. The Butcher's Dog £18 - 18
2. The River from Savoy 16 - 16.
3. St. Giles, Soho 18 - 18

The next state of the River[17] if successful probably 10 gs.


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Notes:

1.  [8/25 April 1896]
Dated from the address and references to art works.

2.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more]. JW called him O'K.

3.  the Lady
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She was terminally ill with cancer.

4.  If
Double underlined.

5.  Dunthorne
Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), of the Rembrandt Gallery, print dealer and publisher [more].

6.  drawings

7.  Priest's House
The Priest's House, Rouen (C.105).

8.  St Anne's, Soho
St Anne's, Soho (C.162).

9.  Little London
Little London (C.158).

10.  Waterloo dawn
Waterloo Bridge (C.156).

11.  the Butcher's dog
The Butcher's Dog (C.166).

12.  the Smith
The Master Smith of Lyme Regis (YMSM 450).

13.  The Firewheel
Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169).

14.  Mr Pope
Alfred Atmore Pope (1842-1913), manufacturer and collector [more].

15.  Carmen
Crimson note: Carmen (YMSM 441).

16.  River
The Thames (C.161).