The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11708
Date: 20 June [1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Alexander Reid[2]
Place: [Glasgow]
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 296
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS

110. Rue de Bac. Paris

Sunday 20 June -

Dear Mr. Reid -

I have been quite saddened by the tone of deep depression in which your letters to me have been couched

I didn't understand, it is true, what you meant by your suffering from "underselling" of others, knowing only that such complaint could in no way apply to transaction of mine - and not being aware of anyone else who possessed pictures of mine, of the same calibre as those still hanging upon your hands -

Yet, in an undefined [p. 2] manner, it was bourne in upon me that I was more or less responsible for your grief, in as far as your speculation in these full length Whistlers had proved unsuccessful -

Judge then of my exceeding relief, and great satisfaction, when the Secretary[3] of the Pennyslvania Academy, who called here the other day, told me that you had most brilliantly sold the "Brodequin Jaune[4]" to Mr. Johnston of Philadelphia[5] months ago!! -

I felt that in your unhappy letters, you had doubtless with difficulty! refrained from informing me of this inspiriting detail, in order that I should have the pleasure of the surprise wafted in all its freshness accross the Atlantic -

Appreciating then your delicacy in [p. 3] this matter, I was willing to receive all further items of the news from the same source - and so I am to hear from head quarters the exact price sent you for that noble work "Le Brodequin Jaune"! -

Wherefore - I suppose that, though you ask my opinion, you have not the slightest intention of listening to my proposal, of the absurd nature you speak of with reference to the "Furred Jacket"[6]! -

Of course you will sell that also for two thousand gs. or for somewhere between 1800 gs - and 2000 gs.- so that will be all right -

I am told that the authorities of the Boston museum were anxious to get up a subscription for the purchase of that picture - & therefore hung it [p. 4] & kept it in continued exhibition -

As to the little pastel[7], I hope to keep it - & we will settle for it in money or something -

Very truly yours

J McN. Whistler

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1.  20 June [1895]
20 June 1895 was a Thursday, but this is clearly a reply to A. Reid's letter to JW on 7 June 1895, #05164. In addition, Reid's son, A. McN. Reid, dated the letter 31 March 1895 (notes in National Library of Scotland, Acc. 6925).

2.  Alexander Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more].

3.  Secretary
Harrison Smith Morris (1856-1944), Directing Manager of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts [more].

4.  Brodequin Jaune
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

5.  Mr. Johnston of Philadelphia
John Graver Johnson (1841-1917), lawyer and collector [more].

6.  Furred Jacket
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181); it was not sold to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

7.  pastel
The White Girl (M.471).