The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: sales (JW's work)
Record 17 of 23

System Number: 08798
Date: [April 1897][1]
Author: [unknown][2]
Recipient: [a newspaper editor]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 11/937-38
Document Type: TDc[3]

The Company of the Butterfly[4].

For some months past there have been mysterious rumours anent the above company, though each commentator has of necessity had to draw upon his own resources of imagination to supply it with a title. The number of habitations with which it has been credited is legion, and the purposes for which it has been formed, equally varied. It would seem indeed, that the name it's Godparents have elected to bestow upon it, is a most happy one, for it has fluttered hither and thither with charming inconstancy; and though many attempts have been made to grapple with it, and fix it down to some definite abode and object in existence, it has proved as shy and delusive, as the well-known insect from which it's name is derived. - It is therefore with no inconsiderable amount of pride, that I we now announce it's capture. The beautiful creature - rapidly emerging from the chrysalis state and donning each day fresh beauties of colour, not forgetting black and white - can be seen in the neighbourhood of Manchester Square, by all and sundry of it's [sic] numerous worshippers. To be exact, it has settled on the first floor of number two Hinde Street; where let us hope it may long continue to thrive and display it's manifold beauties. under the fostering care of the attendant devo-

[p. 2] The gentleman who some time ago spoke of 'The Company of the Butterfly' as 'The Whistler Art Syndicate' was wrong; though we will not deny that the light-winged creature, allegorically referred to is of the well known Whistlerian order.

The company has found some charming rooms in which to conduct it's business, and we venture to say that the hand of the master is no less evident in the artistic decorations, and arrangement of the rooms, than in the many beautiful works hanging round the walls.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [April 1897]
Dated from the reference to the Company of the Butterfly (see below).

2.  [unknown]
The author may in fact be JW (see below).

3.  TDc
See also a related draft of this document, #08797.

4.  The Company of the Butterfly
This may be a draft press release for the Company of the Butterfly, founded by JW in April 1897 in order to sell his works direct to the public. He acquired the lease of a shop at 2 Hinde Street, Manchester Square, as premises, and employed Mrs Christine Anderson, manager of the 'Company of the Butterfly' [more]. However, it was not a success. JW may have attempted to create speculation in the press about this Whistler 'Syndicate' (see #08797, and JW to D. Haden, #13494).