The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 3 of 26

System Number: 11449
Date: [16 February 1875][1]
Author: JW
Place: Liverpool
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC K5
Document Type: ALS[3]

'rec'd 17 Feb[4] 1875'

Speke Hall near Liverpool

Dear Rose.

I received last Wednesday morning a telegram[5] from my Mother[6] telling me to go and meet you at the North Western Hotel Liverpool[.] I instantly telegraphed[7] to you at this address and said that you might rely upon my coming - I went and found my telegram undelivered for you did not arrive - I left a note to say on behalf of my hostess[8] here [p. 2] that she would be glad if you would come out and dine and that a room could be given you so that you could stay the night -

But you have never turned up - Will you write and say when you are coming? Meanwhile that ass Griffiths[9] has sent an acknowledgement for the cheque of £48-15-0[10] so that surely he cannot sue on the writ[11] of 68-17-0! - putting all the rest out of the question - I hope we are going to roast him! -

Tell Ralph Thomas[12] with my kindest thanks that I have received the copy of the Catalogue[13] he sent me and that I am going to write[14] to him -

Ever yours

J A M'N. Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [16 February 1875]
Dated from date of receipt.

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

3.  ALS
See also discussion of JW's first solo exhibition and his dispute with E. C. Griffith in Spencer, Robin, 'Whistler's First One-Man Exhibition Reconstructed' in The Documented Image: Visions in Art History, Syracuse, New York, 1987, pp. 27-49. This letter is quoted on p. 43. '30' written in another hand at top left of p. 1.

4.  rec'd 17 Feb 1875
Written in another hand, probably that of J. A. Rose.

5.  telegram
Not located.

6.  Mother
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

7.  telegraphed
Telegram not located.

8.  hostess
Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more]. JW stayed at the home of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more] and his family, at Speke Hall from January to March 1875. The etchings Speke Hall, No.2 (K.143), Speke Shore (K.144), The Dam Wood (K.145), Shipbuilder's Yard (K.146) and The Little Forge (K.147) probably date from this visit.

9.  Griffith
Capt. Edward Clifton Griffith, gallery landlord [more].

10.  £48-15-0
The balance of rent due on the Pall Mall Gallery to E. C. Griffith.

11.  writ
JW had taken the Flemish Gallery, 48 Pall Mall for a year in order to show his works. The rent was £315 per annum, payable in four instalments. JW arranged for the gallery to be painted in his own pink-grey and primrose scheme, covering up the original decorations and for minor repairs to be done. His first solo exhibition, Mr Whistler's Exhibition, Flemish Gallery, Pall Mall, London, 1874, opened on 8 June and comprised nearly one hundred works, including Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), cat. no. 4 and Nocturne in Grey and Gold (YMSM 116), cat. no. 10. A dispute arose between JW and Griffith when the latter asked for the original decoration to be reinstated for the next tenant. Griffith threatened bring proceedings on 23 January 1875 if this was not done by 25 January (see E. C. Griffith to JW, #12145, #12148). The writ was issued on 29 January (see E. C. Griffith to JW, #12140) claiming back rent and costs of repair to the gallery.

12.  Ralph Thomas
Ralph Thomas, Jr (b. 1840/1841), author of the first catalogue of JW's etchings, partner of J. A. Rose, JW's solicitor [more].

13.  Catalogue
Thomas, Ralph, A Catalogue of the Etchings and Drypoints of James Abbott MacNeil Whistler, London, 1874.

14.  write
Letter not located.