The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 2nd [Exhibition], Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1892
Record 18 of 41

System Number: 02245
Date: 20 April 1892
Author: Louis Huth[1]
Place: Hawkhurst
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H341
Document Type: ALS

20 April 1892



Dear Mr. Whistler

Your letter[2] has just reached me here, and I regret I must reply to it in the negative[.] It is no use wasting words in trying to do so pleasantly, so I will simply decline sending the picture[3] to Paris, or ever exhibiting it again, at which I know you will be very angry - I cannot help [p. 2] it - I am now well stricken in years & am coming to the end of the tether - During the few remaining years left to me I mean to be in undisturbed possession of my pictures - Since our new railway station (Heathfield) has been established Possingworth is very easy of access from town, and I shall always be [p. 3] happy to see you & any friend to whom you would like to show your picture - It arrived yesterday with the frame much abrased in spite of Goupils[4] apparent careful packing - It has often occurred to me as strange that you should so repeatedly show your pictures painted 30 years ago, while none are shown of the present day. [p. 4] Surely not because you have lost your cunning -

Now about the bill sent me by Goupil for touching up the picture - I was fairly taken aback when I got it, having been assured I should be put to no expense[5] whatever in regard to it - What was the object of the exhibition? certainly not my gratification [p. 5] I hated parting with the picture & did so, I can assure you, most reluctantly - It was done wholly & solely to oblige you, and therefore being of opinion that you should defray any expense you may have deemed necessary for the rendering of your Exhibition more attractive, I declined to pay [p. 6] it, and I must adhere to my decision -

I have spoken plainly because the subject does not admit of other language, but I wish you to understand that I mean no offence to you & hope you will always believe me to be your old friend

Louis Huth

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1.  Louis Huth
Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more].

2.  letter
Not located.

3.  picture
Symphony in White, No. 3 (YMSM 61), bought by Louis Huth, possibly in 1865. JW wanted it for the 2nd Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1892. It was not lent to JW then or at any other time, and Huth sold it in 1899.

4.  Goupils
Exhibited at Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892, cat no. 2.

5.  expense
The painting had been cleaned and varnished; JW later wrote to E. G. Kennedy that it had been returned 'through my care, in a state of perfection - beautiful to look upon' (#09715, dated 4 February 1894).