The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Browse Subjects > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: art, destruction of
Record 2 of 2

System Number: 01740
Date: 25 March [1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Edward William Godwin[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler G106
Document Type: ALS[3]

'Please Return at once. to me EWG'[4]

'March 25 1878.'

Dear Godwin -

I am sorry to have to distress you about any matter in which I know you meant well of course - but I think it right that you should not go off with a wrong impression concerning the transaction of Mr Watt[5] and myself -

You know the work I have done for your client - and you know the thorough way in which I have carried it out - far beyond the original proposal from you - You know [p. 2] also the vexations I have been subjected to in the way of painting completed and destroyed afterwards by the blundering of Mr Watt's men - The work having consequently to be done over again at great loss of most precious time to me, especially just at this moment - (the Grosvenor Gallery[6] pending) appointments made and not kept by his people, involving the giving up of an entire day (Saturday) that I might carry through the Cabinet &c &[c] - in time for Mr Watts exhibition[7] here prior to his sending off -

In return for all this good will, and blind to the complete success of the whole, Mr Watt has refused to pay me a penny morefor extra labor and time! -

And [four illegible words, deleted]

The charges I made were these,

viz - - Cabs - - - - 2. 10 - 0
day lost -    - - - - 5.   0 - 0
  7. 10 - 0


to this should be added most certainly for cab from Chelsea to Oakl[e]y Square and back on Saturday & today.

- - - -    10 - 0
  8 - 0 - 0. total


[p. 3] Of course my dear Godwin I do not propose to hold you responsable [sic] for your client - but still you will admit that I am greatly misled in undertaking the success of one whom you recommended -

Very sincerely Yours

J A McN. Whistler

96. Cheyne Walk. Chelsea

March 25 -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  25 March [1878]
Dated by recipient.

2.  Edward William Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more].

3.  ALS
Whether or not this letter was returned to Godwin, as requested in his note, it passed either to his widow or direct to JW's estate.

4.  'Please Return at once. to me EWG'
Written in Godwin's hand, as is the date immediately below.

5.  transaction of Mr Watt
William Watt (d. 1885), of William Watt and Co., art furniture makers [more], produced some of the finest furniture of the Aesthetic Movement. Godwin and JW collaborated on a stand for Watt at the Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1878, incorporating Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Butterfly Cabinet (YMSM 195) (see also #01739).

6.  Grosvenor Gallery
2nd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1878.

7.  Mr Watts exhibition
The stand was first exhibited in Watts showrooms at 21 Grafton Street before going to Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1878.