The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Louisiana Purchase International Exposition, St Louis, 1904
Record 2 of 2

System Number: 04564
Date: 29 July 1902
Author: Elizabeth Robins Pennell[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [The Hague][2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P204
Document Type: ALS

July 29th 1902


Dear Mr Whistler,

It was delightful to have direct news from you through Miss Philip[3] whose kind letter I mean to answer one day very soon. And we are glad to know that everything is going well with you. Those telegrams were most alarming - You can have no idea of the consternation they [p. 2] created. Everybody, everywhere, was asking about them and about you. Among others who came to us in great anxiety were Mr Ludovici[4] who called to ask if we had heard lately, and Mrs Unwin[5] who wrote from the country to ask how you were - and if we could tell her more than the despatches from the Hague which she, with everybody else had seen.

We do hope it will not be very much longer before you are back in London again. We miss you so very much; [p. 3] and Joseph[6] keeps regretting that he did not get home any just a little sooner from Italy. He has had to go out of town for a few days, but he probably will return on Sunday - Just after he had started yesterday, Mr Sauter[7] called - Unfortunately I was out at the time and so I did not hear what news he may have had.

We saw only the despatches from the Hague and not the comments - we see so few daily papers - Have you any idea where the note about [p. 4] the wretched Ashbee[8] appeared so that we might look it up? I hope it has made him as [uncomfortable?] as possible - he deserves to suffer - I enclose the little note from the Chronicle[9] of Monday. It must be followed by another. If we come across any paragraphs or can trace those others, we shall send them over -

There is no special news. We had the St. Louis Commissioners here - Mr Ives[10] and Mr Kurtz[11]. They want to make the Art Department [p. 5] of the Exhibition[12] something [finer?] than has ever been done before - of course - and I think that they are going the right way about it as far as the English Section is concerned by showing complete indifference to the Academy. They dined with us and it was the greatest disappointment to us that you were not here to come and meet them -

I have no other news - London is still over burdened by the coming [p. 6] Coronation[13] - the stands still linger in all their ugliness though fortunately this time there are to be no street decorations.

Joseph left his greetings for you. before he left town - Augustine[14] asks that she may be respectfully remembered -

No one else has been more anxious than she!

And with my cordial remembrances to Mrs Whibley[15] and Miss Philip believe me
Very Sincerely Yours

E. R. Pennell

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Elizabeth Robins Pennell
Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographer [more].

2.  [The Hague]
In July 1902, JW was on a trip to Holland with Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more], when he became seriously ill. He was forced to recuperate at the Hotel des Indes in The Hague for many weeks.

3.  Miss Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. Her letter has not been located.

4.  Mr Ludovici
Albert Ludovici, Jr (1852-1932), painter [more].

5.  Mrs Unwin
Jane Fisher Unwin (1851-1947/9), née Cobden, wife of T. Fisher Unwin [more].

6.  Joseph
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

7.  Mr Sauter
George Sauter (1866-1937), painter [more].

8.  Ashbee
Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942), architect [more], from whom JW had leased 74 Cheyne Walk. Noisy work on the house next door had greatly upset JW; see his letter to the foreman, 20 June 1902, #00208.

9.  Chronicle
Elizabeth Pennell worked for the London newspaper the Daily Chronicle.

10.  Mr Ives
Halsey Cooley Ives (1847-1911), painter [more].

11.  Mr Kurtz
Charles McMeen Kurtz (1855-1909), Director of Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and Assistant Chief, U. S. Fine Art Department, World's Columbian Exposition [more].

12.  Exhibition
The International St Louis Exhibition, 1904.

13.  Coronation
The coronation of Albert Edward Saxe-Coburg (1841-1910), H.R.H. The Prince of Wales [more], took place on 9 August 1902.

14.  Augustine
Augustine, the Pennells' cook-servant [more].

15.  Mrs Whibley
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].