The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 12145
Date: 23 January 1875
Author: Edward Clifton Griffith[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Liverpool][2]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/40/6
Document Type: ALS


[ornate monogram:] 'ECG'

30 St. James Square

23rd Jany. 1875

Dear Sir

I am at a loss to understand your telegram[4] after agreeing, as you did when I last saw you, to restore the colouring of the Gallery[5] - However, be that as it may there is no question of your liability [p. 2] in the matter as you had no right to paint out the decorations[6] or alter the gallery in the slightest degree without my permission and authority, and as the state in which you have left it is a bar to my letting and I am in consequence losing rent I should have thought [p. 3] that as a gentleman you would have done what was right without any pressure - I regret this is not so - and my willingness to meet you[7] with regard to the payment of your rent has not, it seems, inspired you with a like sentiment of courtesy or good feeling. Under the circumstances I can only say that having already in the autumn lost one good [p. 4] tenant (or would be tenant) through you I am not disposed to risk the loss of a second and unless therefore you arrange matters satisfactorily with out further delay I shall at once instruct my solicitors[8] to take proceedings against you.

I am yours truly

E. Clifford Griffith

[p. 1] J A. M. Whistler Esq

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1.  Edward Clifton Griffith
Capt. Edward Clifton Griffith, gallery landlord [more]. See also other correspondence between JW and Griffith between 20 and 30 January 1875 concerning the condition of his gallery (#11445, #12165, #11442, #01603, #11441, #12148, #11444, #12154).

2.  [Liverpool]
JW stayed at the home of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more] and his family, from January to March 1875.

3.  '65'
Written in another hand at the upper left hand corner of p. 1.

4.  telegram

5.  Gallery
The venue for Mr Whistler's Exhibition, Flemish Gallery, Pall Mall, London, 1874. JW took the gallery for a year at an annual rent of £315.

6.  decorations
JW decorated the gallery in primrose, pink-grey and brown distemper for his exhibition. However, Griffiths required that the gallery should be returned to its original state and hung with maroon cloth (see statement of proof, #12138).

7.  meet you
In a previous letter (#12154) Griffiths offered to arrange for the redecoration of the gallery himself if JW sent him a cheque for £30.

8.  solicitors
On 29 January 1875, Griffiths issued a writ claiming back rent and costs of repair to the gallery (see E. C. Griffiths to JW, #12140).