The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 11 of 51

System Number: 09033
Date: [January 1878?[1]]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Alan Summerly Cole[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Published[3]
Document Type: PLfc

My dear.

Tomorrow I am to dine with the "Skinners[4]" in their Hall at the ungodly hour of 6 o'clock[5] - after which I go to an evening. Will Friday do? All right about the stalls[6].

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  January 1878?
The reference to the 'stalls' suggests this letter may relate to JW's visit to the Gaiety Theatre with Cole on 7 January 1878 (Cole's diary, MS copy, LC; see M.665-668).

2.  Alan Summerly Cole
Alan Summerly Cole (1846-1934), textile expert and museum official [more].

3.  [Published]
This letter is transcribed as published in G. J. C. Grasberger, sale catalogue, [c. 1926], p. 16 (cat. no. 33). It was described as a single sheet, octavo, and priced at $20. A typescript of the same letter gives slightly different punctuation, with the last sentence as a separate paragraph, and price, $25.

4.  Skinners
The Skinners' Company is one of the most ancient of the City Guilds in the City of London, with a history going back some 700 years. Skinners' Hall occupies the site at 8 Dowgate Hill, which it has owned since the 13th Century.

5.  six o'clock
It was usual in polite society to dine at eight or nine o'clock while in town. Six o'clock was acceptable in the country and usual among the lower classes. The timing of JW's Ten o'clock lecture in 1885 was designed to flatter those attending by suggesting they ate at an elegantly late hour before coming out to the lecture.

6.  stalls
In his diary, A. S. Cole recorded going with JW to the Gaiety Theatre on 7 January 1878 to see Nellie Farren and Ellen Terry in John Hollingshead's farce The Grasshopper, and Henry James Byron's burlesque Little Dr Faust (Cole's diary, MS copy, LC). JW drew and painted subjects related to these performances, including Souvenir of the Gaiety (M.664) (see also M.665-668, Harmony in Blue: The Duet (YMSM 196)).