UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: copperplate
Record 9 of 20

System Number: 06290
Date: 10 July 1886
Author: Frederick Wedmore[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W284
Document Type: ALS


THE BURLINGTON FINE ARTS CLUB[2],
17, SAVILE ROW, W.

Saturday: 10 July: '86.

Dear Mr. Whistler,

I should like to come and see you as soon as ever I can about a Catalogue of your Etchings[3], to which I have for some time been giving my leisure & which I should have mentioned earlier were it not that its actual publication seemed uncertain until quite lately - and the last week or so have been disturbed by the fatal illness of my mother[4]. But now, after Tuesday, I should like to come [p. 2] and see you - any time Wednesday: any time Friday: or on the any time on Thursday except between 12 and 5. Perhaps you would kindly let me know if either of these days would be convenient?

I had better tell you you a little about the Catalogue, now. I began making it for my own use since I have taken not only to extremely enjoy but to live with a good many of your Etchings. In consenting to And in America, Avery's collection[5] helped me. But owing to the great number of the Etchings, I have found it more laborious than I expected, and in consenting [p. 3] to finish it and to prepare it for actual publication, I have taken from Thibaudeau[6] - let me speak frankly - very much less money than I should have wanted for an equal amount of work bestowed on another matter.

I mention this that you may quite understand that I do it rather en amateur (as indeed I did my Méryon[7]) and very much because I wish to do what in me lies to make a lasting and I hope a not unpleasant record of work which to this portion of your Art, to many of the qualities of which I used to be blind.

Without taking up your time very much, there are a good many little things of interest you could tell [p. 4] me about some of the plates. And I should be delighted to have anything from you on the matter. That is why I want to see you just now. But if you should disappoint me by ta preserving a "benevolent neutrality" as to my little enterprise instead of taking some slight active interest in it, as I want you to, you may be quite assured that it will be carried out by me, in just the same appreciative spirit - for now that I know your Etchings, I feel their quality very fully. The best will live with the best of Rembrandt's[8].

Very truly yours

Frederick Wedmore


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Notes:

1.  Frederick Wedmore
Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921), art critic [more].

2.  BURLINGTON FINE ARTS CLUB
JW had also been a member until forced to resign in 1867.

3.  Catalogue of your Etchings
Wedmore, Sir Frederick, Whistler's Etchings: a Study and a Catalogue, London, 1886. As far as is known, JW did not give Wedmore any help.

4.  mother
Mrs Wedmore (d. 1886), mother of Frederick Wedmore [more]. A narrow mourning border appears on p. 1.

5.  Avery's collection
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), print-publisher, collector and philanthropist [more]. His collection is now in New York Public Library.

6.  Thibaudeau
Alphonse Wyatt Thibeaudau (ca 1840 - d.1892), print dealer [more]; he was also co-publisher, with Messrs Dowdeswell, of A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).

7.  Méryon
F. Wedmore, Méryon and Méryon's Paris: with a descriptive catalogue of the artist's work, London, 1892.

8.  Rembrandt's
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more].