The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900
Record 26 of 41

System Number: 04416
Date: [7/10 October 1900][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: John Britton Caldwell[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P56
Document Type: ALd

[monogram:] WH[3]


Cher Directeur -

Now here is more of it! - And voiçi le moment, it seems to me, for a short sharp word of authority - that this characteristically British English and perfidious outcry be properly silenced -

You are, ex officio, the one who can, at once, put an end to this malignant attempt to vilify their betters - the usual method of the Briton at bay -

Why not Will you then write to the Editor[4] of [p. 2] The Daily Chronicle, a line is enough saying that your attention has been drawn to a so termed "Protest" by in the "Magazine of Art" against the International[5] Jury's award of Medailles [sic] d'honneur under false pretences - to Messrs. Alfred Stevens[6], Dagnan Bouveret[7] & Mr Whistler - That These while these allegations are of the foolish nature that of showing them to emmanate from a complete outsider     are based upon the assertion insinuation supposed fact the distinctions were conferred for work submitted executed prior to the date limited in the printed rules - and conscientiously

Confining myself to my own Section, I have to say in the case of Mr Whistler -

The Editor inten clearly implies that the grand prix in several certain these cases named, was deliberately awa given for work executed before the date to which, in the printed rules, Artists of each country were restricted, an & that in this case, that of Mr Whistler, in your own section the distinction would not have been obtained at all,[8] had it not been for his imposing upon unwarrantable exhibition of the well known "Little White Girl[9]"!

"The Editor" proceeds to stigmatize

The intention is so clearly to mislead, that fearing action, a "little slip" is inserted so to escape the consequences of their assertions! (this

[p. 3] I suppose cher directeur, you will have no difficulty in stating, know that the grand prix was "unanimisly" [sic] awarded for my work which had never been exhibited before [...]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [7/10 October 1900]
Cauldwell replied to this letter on 12 October [1900] (see #04420); in that letter he said that he received this one "a day or two ago".

2.  John Britton Caldwell
John Caldwell, Board Chairman, Carnegie Art Galleries [more].

3.  WH
This is written on the printed stationery of William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

4.  the Editor
See the letter to the Editor, #00797.

5.  International
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900; JW exhibited Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian (YMSM 378) and Brown and Gold (YMSM 440), in the American section.

6.  Alfred Stevens
Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more].

7.  Dagnan Bouveret
Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929), naturalist painter [more].

8.  Little White Girl
Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52).

9.  at all,
Double underlined.