The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 164 of 172

System Number: 13832
Date: 30 October 1902
Author: Charles Lang Freer[1]
Place: Detroit
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Phillip
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALd


Oct 30/02

Your good letter now [more than?] quite a month old should must have been answered earlier but [upon?] but for a three week absence from home [and the?] together with a rush of affairs business matters which I found awaiting my return - I was much delighted to hear from you and to have news of all of the interesting things mentioned. I regretted [illegible] to know that Mr Whistlers return to health has been interrupted by his homeward journey and that [two illegible words] the trip together with the Ashbee[3] building report had along with the trip had sent him back to bed for a week - Dreadful! But you told me of his [illegible] most welcome news - and I [have?] [three illegible words] and that he [will?] is [p. 2] were this entirely recovered. Give him from me all good messages and best wishes - soon be entirely well again.

What a low highwayman your landlord of the Lange Voorhout the Hague proved himself to be. I would should have always thought him too stupid to [illegible] great the a house. I fancy it takes much more greater experience in Holland than either you or I are ever likely to have care to have see through the [illegible] to deal on even terms with the wooden headed [illegible] natives.

Their wooden headed stupidity is however worse than their dull dishonesty - but there reflections are poor solace for you good friend who had to meet with the villains impertinense and dishonesty - Mr Rey[4] should have had the rascal thrown into the [nearest bad something?] nearest canal and keep there - as long as the foul water would endure him -

I am glad you liked Mr Whistlers picture at Marchants[5][.] What a world of rare beauty it is - By the way you will be glad pleased to know that under a recent ruling of the U.S. Treasury Department at Washington, it will no longer be necessary for Mr Whistler to go to the [p. 3] trouble of visiting the office of the American Consul in London to sign documents when if examples of his work are being shipped to American friends. In future the consignee can receive a work his picture free of duty by simply furnishing proof to the local inspector that the work of art is by that of an American Artist - The shipper consignee must send with the picture an ordinary consular invoice with to which the artist need not pay any attention - good! A hopeful sign for my country too, is it not? -

I had met Mr Canfield[6] accidentally while in New York recently - He seemed happy to see me and is coming here as my guest soon to spend a few days soon - He has bought Mr Whistlers portrait of called "Count Robert[7]"!!! Good! I wish I could be equally lucky

[p. 4] You told me of Mrs Whibley[8] having returned to the Manor but said nothing about her health nor of your own either. Do let know Do give her my very nicest messages and best wishes and do let me know how you both are and tell me too of your good mother[9] too as well

You know that you suffered much from ill health while we were all together at the Hague and I wonder and long to know if you are better now. I sincerely hope that you are [becoming strong ere this?] -

[The?] I should have advised you long ago of the recipt receipt of the [present?] of the letter account though the bankers at the Hague which came all right in every way - Thank you - [here in America?]

The autumn days have been most beautiful this year and they have brought me health and happiness but they are flying by too fast and soon we here will be in the midst of snow and ice - horrible!

And I shall be longing for springtime and Spain and England far in advance I fear.

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1.  Charles Lang Freer
Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more]. JW had been seriously ill in The Hague, and Freer had stayed on for a considerable time to help the Birnie Philips to nurse him and keep him amused.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

3.  Ashbee
JW had leased a house at 74 Cheyne Walk from Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942), architect [more]. It proved to be extremely noisy with building work going on next door.

4.  Mr Rey
Rey, a mutual acquaintance of JW and C. L. Freer.

5.  Marchants
William Stephen Marchant (1868-1925), art dealer [more].

6.  Mr Canfield
Richard Albert Canfield (1855-1914), gambler [more].

7.  Count Robert
Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (YMSM 398).

8.  Mrs Whibley
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

9.  mother
Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more].