The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: private view
Record 28 of 31

System Number: 06247
Date: [22 May 1898][1]
Author: JW and Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: William Webb[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W242
Document Type: ALS[4]

110. Rue du Bac.


Dear Mr. Webb -

Your letters have been forwarded to me here - for I only stayed in London the Monday of the opening - and returned on tuesday or you would have seen me - As it was I made sure of your being at the "Private View[5]" and had [p. 2] your cards sent, I hoped in time, but every thing was so hurried! -

I am very much pleased to have that little comparison of prices! - & you are quite right, these things should go in a book - & shall -

When you go to this Exhibition you will see, a propos of this question, two pictures of mine, "The Piano Picture"[6], for which 30 gs. was paid, & "The Thames in Ice"[7], for which I was given £10 - For these two pictures Mr. Cowan[8] of Edinburgh, the other day, gave £1600[9].

Reid[10]. Now I wish indeed you would get into this matter at once! - I telegraphed to him "Please answer" several days ago - & he has taken no notice -

You might say that we find his silence after strange etc . . . and most difficult to understand in the face of the signed agreement we hold to divide the

So thus he may comment himself -

However [p. 3] make him feel that we have him! Can you make him show his books, that we may see what Mr Burrell[11] did give for this picture? Remember it is called "The Furred Jacket"[12] -

'Mr. Whistler has just been called away & has asked me to enclose Mr. Cowan's letter of which he wishes you to keep a copy & return the original; also to tell you that Mr. Reid's address is "La Société des Beaux Arts" 124 St Vincent's Street Glasgow: and that of Mr. Burrell 54 George Square Glasgow.'

With kindest regards.
Yours sincerely.

R. Birnie-Philip.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [22 May 1898]
Dated from the reference to a private view, and from the almanac, and a related letter from JW to W. Webb, 9 May 1898, #06246.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more] The letter has been completed by her from the line 'Mr Whistler has just been called away'.

3.  William Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

4.  ALS
Written on deep bordered mourning paper. All underlinings are in pencil and of another hand, probably that of Webb.

5.  Private View
Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1898, opened on Monday 16 May.

6.  The Piano Picture
At the Piano (YMSM 24). Double underlined.

7.  The Thames in Ice
The Thames in Ice (YMSM 36). Both At the Piano and this picture were exhibited at the Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1898.

8.  Mr. Cowan
John James Cowan (1846-1936), paper manufacturer and collector [more]. Cowan's letter is unidentified.

9.  £1600
Double underlined.

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

11.  Mr Burrell
William Burrell (1861-1958), ship-owner and collector [more].

12.  The Furred Jacket
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181). JW sold the picture to Reid during the summer of 1892 (see A. Reid to JW, #05133, #05137).