The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: etching exhibition
Record 30 of 41

System Number: 07293
Date: 19 November 1897
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1281
Document Type: ALS


H W & CO.
868 B'WAY N- Y-

Nov. 19th 1897.

Dear Mr Whistler,

I find that this extraordinary craving for advertising himself, is still the particular & unpleasant monopoly of the "busy one"[3]. The enclosed was sent to me by Mr. Avery[4]. Fortunately it is circulated (the Comm[ercia]l Advertiser) among people who never read Art News. It was discovered by accident by Mr. A.. Usually these things are laughable, but it seems as if this was phrased so as to take a rise out of you and attract notice to "the busy one" as a person of sufficient importance to be noticed. Do not fall into the trap. [unless?]. If you wish to bother [p. 2] about a flea bite of this sort, an impersonal dose neatly administered by the master hand would be the thing. My advice is "do not notice it at all".

I have not heard of the Eden trial[5] yet, but hope it will come out all right.

Tooth[6] has an exhibition of dry points by J. McN. Whistler. The old Thames set and the twenty six etchings[7] are all, but the main idea is to conjure up the public with a name & attract attention.

A very two penny ha'penny way of doing, but "business is business", I suppose. If I had the few pictures I bought, I would have a show myself & not have let these bogus affairs (bogus in a way) have it all their own way, but have a show by the [p. 3] only genuine, & original Whistler Crank O'K.!

Mr. G. W. Vanderbilt[8], I hear, is going around the world & will not return for a year! This is a new move. He is going to India China &c. &c. Are you going too?

There is nothing new here. The opening Social Event, the Horse Show is now open, and attracts the usual enormous Crowds who go to look at the Social notabilities and see the women and their gowns.

I send you a paper as a "sample" of the importance of this thing in our best journal.

Hoping you are well, believe me my dear friend,
Ever Yours Sincerely


This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more]. JW called him O'K.

G. Dieterlen, employee at H. Wunderlich and Co., New York.

3.  busy one
This might possibly be a reference to Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more].

4.  Mr. Avery
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), print-publisher, collector and philanthropist [more]. The enclosure sent by Avery is untraced.

5.  Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more].

6.  Tooth
Arthur Tooth and Sons, London firm of printsellers. The exact dates of the exhibition are unknown.

7.  Thames set and the twenty six etchings
A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, 1871 (the 'Thames Set') (K.38-44, 46, 52, 66, 68, 71, 74-76, 95) (excat 4), and A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).

8.  Mr. G. W. Vanderbilt
George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914), collector [more], who commissioned a portrait from JW (Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt (YMSM 481)) in May 1897 (see G. Vanderbilt to JW, #05914).