The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: sea pieces
Record 8 of 30

System Number: 06592
Date: [12/13 June 1891][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W585
Document Type: ALS[3]

[...] he[4], in the deepest intimacy - and a little Tisane - caraffe ..., confided to me that the one thing left - the one great thing - & the only one, would be a very very elegant little exhibition of Whistler & Stevens alone[5] - More properly of course of Stevens & Whistler - Then came details - profound secrecy - very chic surroundings - Paris, I insisted upon first, afterwards London, Brussels, Münich or Berlin -

Here at Petits[6] - whom I am to see about it at once - I to arrange room - decoration - &c &c - Stevens to see that we incur no expense - and share profits - success to be stupendous! - The whole thing very choice - few works - say 25 apiece - but paintings in perfect condition - and then the Private View and the rest of it of the most picked -

[p. 2] He is greatly excited about it and guarantees or forsees all sorts of amazing things - In Brussels the King shall open the exhibition - here M. Carnot[7] - and what not - of course there are the Grefülhes[8] [sic] - by the way I must call tomorrow - (I am getting to be like you Chinkie and hate it!) - Then in Berlin I dont know what - and in London!? fancy from my point of view what a shock! The accepted and orthodox Stevens and the Black Pirate together! Neither admitting the society of any others.

Don't you think amazing? - Well well can't you see the pretty "exposition" the Wams can bring together - with the Rosies, and the Shells[9] and the Panels and sea pieces - We will really have to hold in our forces - I must hurry back to talk it all over - And now another thing Stevens is going with his daughter[10] and in short what is left of his family to Honfleur - towards the end of July - and he assures me that it is the very most charming little garden of Brittany - sea - village - and forrest! [sic] and we must go there too! - Dont you think that might be delightful - We might take Bunnie[11] over with [us] and shut up the house and or let in the workmen and come back with no end of work and health? - and the dear little Saxpences [sic] saved.

And[12] Goodbye again my own darling bad Wam! - for you write very short notes - and say I nag!! Oh!

About this morning's breakfast with Degas[13]! I will tell you tomorrow

Have wired Cust[14]


[butterfly signature]

Curious that I should have said to you only the other day that it would be well if I could manage to have an exhibition not quite alone!

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [12/13 June 1891]
This letter immediately predates one to Beatrix Whistler dated 14 June 1891 (#06593).

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more], also called 'Chinkie' and 'Wam'. Her letters from this time have not survived.

3.  ALS
The letter is incomplete and the envelope is missing.

4.  he
Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more]. The proposed exhibition never materialised.

5.  alone
Double underlined.

6.  Petits
Georges Petit (1856-1920), Paris art dealer [more].

7.  M. Carnot
Marie François Sadi Carnot (1837-1894), President of France from 1887-1894 [more].

8.  Grefülhes
Elisabeth, Comtesse Greffulhe (1860-1952), née Riquer de Caraman-Chimay [more].

9.  Rosies, and the Shells
Pastels such as The Shell (M.1291), which showed the Pettigrew sisters, particularly Rose Amy Pettigrew (b. 1872), a model, later Mrs Warner [more]. See also #06591.

10.  daughter
Catherine Stevens, daughter of Alfred Stevens.

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

12.  And
The letter continues in the margins of p. 1.

13.  Degas
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834-1917), artist [more].

14.  Cust
Henry John Cockayne Cust (1861-1917), editor of the Pall Mall Gazette from 1892-1896 [more].