The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 159 of 172

System Number: 04012
Date: 23 August 1902
Author: Howard Mansfield[1]
Place: Seal Harbor, Maine
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M283
Document Type: ALS

Seal Harbor,
Mt. Desert Island, Maine,

August 23, 1902.

Dear Mr. Whistler:

It is a keen pleasure to learn that you have in an eminent degree the art of regaining health[2]. It seems, too, that you practise this art as you have said that other arts should be practised - so that the result stands without traces of the process. For the news of your convalescence brought also the first word of your illness; at the same time came evidence that you were able to correct as well as postpone the memorials of the press which were discoursing of you too much in the past tense.

[p. 2] Echoes of rejoicing that you are still yourself should reach you from many more than the nameless friend in London. Indeed, were the wireless telegraphy in perfect working order, you should have had ere now a series of flashes of congratulation from this side of the ocean.

Why you should have chosen Holland as a place in which to fall ill, I cannot understand except upon the theory that it affords a specially congenial environment of recovery. The assurance that the recovery has become perfect will serve [p. 3] as a complete justification of your choice. No doubt you will carry away from the "artists' country" even brighter remembrances than of old because of this experience, now, as I trust, so happily indeed. Needless to add that I shall await in hopeful expectancy the words which say that you are again entirely well.

Sometime ago I was persuaded, after more or less resistance on my part, to sit for a photograph. The photographer - Mrs Gertrude Käsebier[3], who believes in photography as an art - asked leave to picture me doing something which I like to do. Nothing more delightful than looking at prints occurred to me, and no print could be thought of which it gives me more pleasure to look at than your dry-point of "The Engraver"[4], which happens to be my most valued acquisition of recent years. Therefore, I have taken the liberty of sending you a copy of the result, which, together with this letter, I have addressed to you at Garlant's Hotel, not knowing how else certainly to reach you. Writing this address awakens most enjoyable memories of the summer of 1900, when we had the good fortune of finding you at that comfortable, old time inn, and you added so much to the pleasure of our visit to London.

Mrs Mansfield[5] and Miss Margaret[6] join me in cordial greetings to you and all good wishes, and I am

Faithfully yours,

Howard Mansfield

To Mr J. McNeill Whistler[7]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Howard Mansfield
Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), New York lawyer, print collector [more].

2.  regaining health
JW was recovering in The Hague, Holland, from a serious bout of illness and did not return London until early September (see JW to H. Whistler, #06750).

3.  Mrs Gertrude Käsebier
Gertrude Stanton Käsebier (1852-1934), photographer [more].

4.  'The Engraver'
Riault, the Engraver (K.65).

5.  Mrs. Mansfield
Mrs Howard Mansfield, wife of the print collector.

6.  Miss Margaret
Margaret Mansfield, daughter of Howard Mansfield.

7.  To Mr J. McNeill Whistler
Written in the left margin of p. 3, at right angles to the main text.