The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 10875
Date: [3 September 1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Sydney Morse[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 14/1243/1
Document Type: TLc

To Sydney Morse, 96, Cheyne Walk.

To be left till called for.

Dear Mr. Morse

I must thank you so much for your kindness in allowing me to paint on as I have done in the old Studio[3] which you are waiting to make into the new library -

My pictures[4] are about finished thanks to your patience - and I will go out at once - though if you could still spare me the room for this week I should be so awfully obliged - what do you say?

If Cossins[5] has any other part of the house still to do, or if you are not anxious yourself I certainly would immensely value any more time you could grant - One of my portraits[6] has been very greatly hindered by absence - and I could I believe obtain another couple of sittings, on Friday and Saturday next.

However, in any case pray believe that I am really very sensible of all your amiability,

Always, sincerely yours,

Ja. McN. Whistler.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [3 September 1878]
A note at the top reads: 'Postmark: Sept. 3. 1878.'

2.  Sydney Morse
Sydney Morse (1854-1929), solicitor [more]. Morse succeeded JW's tenancy of the house.

3.  old Studio
The studio of JW's house at 96 Cheyne Walk (formerly 2 Lindsey Row).

4.  pictures
These may have included Portrait of Walter Winans (YMSM 199) and Harmony in Blue: The Duet (YMSM 196).

5.  Cossins
John S. Cossins (b. 1831 or 1832), painter and decorator [more]. Morse and his wife agreed that Cossins should distemper the house at Cheyne Walk in a scheme of JW's design (see descriptive note by Morse, #11341). A note at the foot of the page (probably by J. or E. R. Pennell) reads: 'Cossins was a builder and decorator employed by Whistler for such work at No. 96. He was the brother of Whistler's man servant. The servants were this man and his wife, who was the cook. She passed the dishes through the serving door into the dining room. The room was a dull shade of peacock blue distemper, the wainscot a much lighter and greener shade of paint, the doors white and greeny blue. The curtains exact shade of distemper and white hemmed muslin inside - The fringe on the mantel board remained from Whistler to us and the looking glasses.'

6.  One of my portraits
This was probably Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203) which seems to have been completed in early September 1878 (see JW to C. A. Howell, #02790).

7.  Ja. McN. Whistler
The copyist probably slightly mis-read JW's signature 'J A McN. Whistler'.