Typed Letter Signed on "McKim, Mead & White" stationery, 4to, New York, March 2, 1900
by WHITE, STANFORD [Thomas Wilmer Dewing]
Letters of Stanford White are rarely available and ours to noted American artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing is particularly noteworthy. White writes to Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), American painter and White's friend, commenting on Dewing's exhibit in March 1900 at the Montross Gallery in New York. White writes that the exhibit, "is perfectly bully. My only regret was that you did not have the big Cheney picture and the panel of your little girl and the two pussy cats which Freer has...." Overall, White thinks Dewing's show is "beautiful." In the next sentence White includes a name in holograph difficult to decipher but possibly Montross, the gallery owner. "I think [holograph name] ought to have a more noticeable sign than he had. I did not know he was on the top floor and went rushing all around trying to find him...." In the final sentence, White refers to "the Detroit matter." As I understand, everything is getting along swimmingly in the Detroit matter." He signs, "Stanford." White refers to the "big Cheney picture" not exhibited in Dewing's show. Dewing had painted a portrait of the sisters Louise and Anne W Cheney of Connecticut entitled, "The Days," for which White had designed the frame and is now in the collection of the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art. Also mentioned is Detroit businessman Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), who amassed the most important collection of Whistler in the world. White's mention of "your little girl and the two pussy cats which Freer has" refers to Dewing's painting of his daughter which hung over Freer's living room fireplace. Freer eventually donated his art collection to the Smithsonian which named the Freer Gallery in his honor. The Montross Gallery was named for its owner, Newman Emerson Montross (1849 1932). The gallery, which opened in 1878, represented leading American artists of the time. Stanford White co-founded the architecture and design firm, McKim, Mead & White which designed outstanding New York City landmark buildings including the University Club on Fifth Avenue. Dewing was among White's circle of friends who were prominent artists, and these artists needed frames for their works which White designed. Dewing painted the portrait of White's wife, Bessie, and his sister-in-law, Ella Batavia Emmet. ["The Gilded Age: The Art of the Frame," Wilmer]. Dewing was born in Massachusetts, studied in Paris and settled n New York where he painted female figures, including society women, in a tonalist style influenced by both Whistler and the English Aesthetic Movement. White successfully recommended Dewing for several mural commissions. ["Thomas Wilmer Dewing," Terra foundation for American Art web site]. Dewing was also one of the Ten American Painters - known as "The Ten" - who seceded from the Society of American Artists in 1897 over what they saw as falling standards and increasing commercialism. Montross Gallery exhibited the works of "The Ten." ." Folded, light soiling especially on verso folds, otherwise in fine condition. (Inventory #: 4068)
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