The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889
Record 1 of 62

System Number: 02041
Date: 2 May 1888
Author: James Rigby Osgood[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H142
Document Type: ALS



May 2. 1888

Dear Mr Whistler:

I mentioned to the Editor of Harper's Magazine the conversation which I had with you relative to a possible article[2] on your pictures. He writes me that he should not find it practicable to use such an article at present, especially in view of the elaborate one which appeared some months ago in The Century Magazine[3].

But he also writes that [p. 2] he is having prepared for the Magazine an article on American Art in connection with the Universal Exposition[4] to occur in Paris next year. He would like to know if you are to be represented there, and in that event to secure early photographs of the works you will exhibit, with a view to including you in the article.

Will you kindly let me know how the suggestion strikes you?

Yours truly

J. R. Osgood

J. A. McNeill Whistler Esq

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  James R. Osgood
James Ripley Osgood (1836-1892), agent for Harper and Bros, publishers [more].

2.  article
Earlier in the year, JW had been negotiating with Osgood to publish his aesthetic manifesto, the 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' in Harper's Monthly Magazine (see F. W. Slater to JW, 8 February 1888, #02035). They also proposed to publish a volume edition. However, according to an earlier letter from Osgood (#02037), Harper & Brothers had declined to meet JW's terms over publication of the lecture in book form. The article 'on your pictures' seems to be a follow-up idea to the original negotiations.

3.  The Century Magazine
It is unclear which article is being referred to, as no specific articles about JW appeared in the Century in the preceding months. However, it may have been that the editor of Harper's was objecting to the type of article (a monograph) proposed.

4.  Universal Exposition
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889; see Child, Theodore, 'American Artists at the Paris Exhibition,' Harpers New Monthly Magazine, vol. 79, no. 472, September 1889, pp. 489-521.