The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: oil painting, display
Record 55 of 64

System Number: 01019
Date: 5 December [1894][1]
Author: Arthur Jerome Eddy[2]
Place: Chicago
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler E7
Document Type: ALS


My dear Mr Whistler,

The portrait[3] is here, on the wall at my right as I am writing you.

It was finally hung, glass and all Saturday afternoon. I am more than pleased with it - it is a fine & graceful work of art, just such a portrait as one would expect from you.

[p. 2] Durand-Ruel Sr.[4] dined with me Sunday and he thought it fine.

Mrs Eddy[5] admires it greatly as a picture but thinks it does not do me justice as a portrait - my friends hold various and conflicting views as to the likeness - It is interesting to hear the many opinions, but nothing said disturbs my conviction that it is prime - both [p. 3] as picture and portrait - it could not well be otherwise. If everybody liked it on first sight, I should argue feel it is not a Whistler. The quality of a picture is inversely [proportionate] to the number of those who propose to admire it. -

It is quite dull in places owing to the paint having sunken in - until it is varnished it will hardly look as it really is - a fine thing - But, then, you [p. 4] and Mrs Whistler[6] will be here next month to see it for yourself.

Mr Lynch[7] has his marine[8] well hung and especially lighted at night. It is a superb thing for him and easily dwarfs the other pictures he purchased.

We were all there at dinner Monday Evng - including Durand Ruel, and you would have been delighted [p. 5][9] could you have heard all that was said about the marine.

My friend Mr. Macomber[10] wrote me he had heard that the Boston people were willing to give $10000 for the picture there - (the Fur Jacket[11], or Yellow Buskin[12]) I do not know which. [p. 6] I give you the information for what it is worth - there may be nothing in it.

I have been invited to talk about you to one of the "swell" art [societies?] here - I think I shall do it by way of getting even for those many "Just a minute more"’s of torture. The time suggested is way ahead in Feb'ry - be present incog. and hear [p. 7] what I have to say - what fun that would be to talk about you with you in the room and no one knowing it.

Since my return I have wished a thousand times to myself and aloud to see you - again I have thought that next to yourself, if I could afford it, I should like a portrait of yourself painted by you, I know you have [p. 8] one in the studio[13], but why not do another sometime? - if no more than a vague mysterious head.

There is to be an exhibition of portraits here in January - I am besought from all sides to let mine go - I have firmly replied that until varnished it cannot go - let me know whether I am to adhere to that position.

With best regards to Mrs Whistler and Miss Phillip[14],
I am yours, very truly

Arthur J Eddy

[written in right margin:] December fifth

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  5 December [1894]
Dated by the reference to a portrait.

2.  Arthur Jerome Eddy
Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859-1920), writer and collector [more].

3.  portrait
Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Brown: Portrait of Arthur J. Eddy (YMSM 425).

4.  Durand-Ruel Sr.
Paul Durand-Ruel (1828 or 1831-1922), Paris art dealer [more].

5.  Mrs Eddy
Lucy Crapo Eddy (b. 1863), née Orrell, wife of A. J. Eddy [more].

6.  Mrs Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

7.  Mr Lynch
John A. Lynch (1853-1938), Chicago banker [more].

8.  marine
Violet and Silver: A Deep Sea (YMSM 411).

9.  [p. 5]
The printed address is repeated at the top of this page (as on p. 1), but is not re-transcribed here.

10.  Mr. Macomber
Frank Gair Macomber, collector and donor to Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

11.  Fur Jacket
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181) was kept in Boston for over a year, then sent on for exhibition in the 1st Annual (International) Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1896-1897. Finally it was returned to Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more], who sold it to William Burrell (1861-1958), ship-owner and collector [more].

12.  Yellow Buskin
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242); it was bought by John Graver Johnson (1841-1917), lawyer and collector [more].

13.  one in the studio
Possibly Brown and Gold (YMSM 440).

14.  Miss Phillip
Possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].