The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893
Record 20 of 113

System Number: 11613
Date: 26 September 1892
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Sidney Starr[1]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 78
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: ALS

110. Rue du Bac - Paris .

Sept. 26. 1892.

My dear Starr -

I have just the picture back from London [sic], & I am having it properly packed so that I may get it off all right this week -

I will send a line to let you know when it starts -

This is all very nice and charming in you - and when the cheque reaches me, I think it is but fair that you should also be able to celebrate [p. 2] the occasion in a pretty little playful way - Hurrah! -

Our address is, as you see, Paris - and I must say I am delighted with the place! The dreariness & dullness of London was at last too depressing for anything - and after the exhibition[2] there was really nothing to stay for! - Indeed the Exhibition itself summed up the situation most beautifully - It was as you remember a complete triumph - crowning all my past victories - No further fighting necessary I could at last come away to this land of light and joy where honours are heaped upon me and peace threatens to take up her permanent abode in the garden of our pretty pavilion! - However I do not promise that I shall not from time to time run over to London in [p. 3] order that too great a sense of security may not come upon the people!

And now about America - We are delighted to know that you are getting on over there - but you must write and tell us how you like it - Perhaps indeed we may come ourselves and pay you a visit at the time of the Chicago Exhibition[3]! - A propos did you see my letter to "Mr. Beck[4]"? - and how did you like it? -

Do you see any thing of Harper Pennington[5]? If not, go and call upon him - His address is 89. Clinton Place. N. Y. and of course you know that he is charming -

I have seen nothing of Walter[6] for ages -

Say to Mr. Untermeyer[7] that I would like him to send me a cheque upon his a London Banker, in English money - 800 guineas. -

I shall have the picture cleared [p. 4] of all Customs - duty free - and I hope that when the time comes he will lend the work to the Chicago Exhibition -

Mr. Kennedy[8] of New York is my agent in all these matters and can arrange for me - He will call upon Mr. Untermeyer when the time comes -

Goodbye my dear Starr old chap - Write at once to say that all is right - and expect to hear from us again directly -

Always most sincerely Yours

J McNeill Whistler

Give us all the details as to the safe arrival, and as to how my lovely little "Rocket" is liked - You might tell them all about it's place in history! and let Mr Untermeyer know that he possesses the famous Nocturne[9] that was the destruction of Ruskin[10] the immaculate!

[butterfly signature]

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1.  Sidney Starr
Sidney Starr (1866 or 1867-1925), painter [more].

2.  exhibition
Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892.

3.  Chicago Exhibition
World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893.

4.  letter to "Mr. Beck
See #02705. Published in Whistler, James McNeill, [Letter to J. W. Beck], The National Observer: A Record and Review, no. 195, (new series), vol. 8, 13 August 1892, p. 326.

5.  Harper Pennington
Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington (1854-1920), artist [more].

6.  Walter
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

7.  Mr. Untermeyer
Samuel Untermyer (1858-1940), lawyer, capitalist and philanthropist [more]. Starr had been negotiating the sale of Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170). The picture had been the target of Ruskin's famous attack on JW in Fors Clavigera, in which he accused JW of 'throwing a pot of paint' in the public's face. On 11 October, Untermyer sent JW a cheque for 800 guineas (£840) in payment (#05887).

8.  Mr. Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

9.  famous Nocturne
'famous Nocturne ... [butterfly signature]' was written in the right margin, at right angles to the main text.

10.  Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more].