The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 3rd Exhibition, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1901
Record 8 of 9

System Number: 07745
Date: [2 January 1902][1]
Author: JW
Place: Bath
Recipient: Elizabeth Robins Pennell[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 273/11/2
Document Type: ALS

7. Marlborough St.

Dear Mrs. Pennell -

I have cards for the private view of the "Painters in Oil[3]"! What an absurd title! -

I will not dwell upon it - though I could! - but I notice the show is in the same Galleries where we held our International[4] -

Now don't miss the occasion! make the whole point of your article turn on the absence of the valerium[5] (however it is spelt.)!

Show how bare and squalid the place looks - as of course it must! . . . . . etc - etc - in short [p. 2] "rub in" the Valerium & the misery of any foolish Society attempting to appear in the same halls that had been graced by the International, in whose hands good work is safe and appears to full advantage, because of scientific knowledge, and perfect engineering of the light - to say nothing of the exquisite taste &c - &c . . .! - And then don't you see the same thing can be done with the next lot! and finally with the "R. I.[6]" itself!! - and always!! -

Your letter was delightful of course - & most excellent to read - but I see you carefully avoid the Ivan Muller[7] suggestion!! Well well!

Kindest regards to all!

[butterfly signature][8]

This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs. Joseph Pennell -
24. Buckingham Street
[postmark:] BATH / 7 / 2.15.AM / JA 3 / 02


1.  [2 January 1902]
Probably written late in the evening of 2 January, and bearing a postmark from early on the morning of 3 January.

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

3.  Painters in Oil
Not identified.

4.  International
3rd Exhibition, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1901.

5.  valerium
A piece of material hung under the ceiling to soften the light and direct it on the pictures.

6.  R. I.
Royal Institution.

7.  Ivan Muller
Ernest Bruce Ivan-Mϋller (1853-1910), assistant editor of the Pall Mall Gazette [more].

8.  [butterfly signature]
Written at the top of p. 1.