The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900
Record 4 of 41

System Number: 09965
Date: 8 June 1899
Author: John Lavery[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Tate Gallery Archives
Call Number: Lavery Collection, TGA 7245/312
Document Type: ALS


June 8th 99

Dear Mr. Whistler

I daresay you wonder why you have not sooner heard from me regarding the Paris International Exhibition[2] -

The fact is that hitherto I have been unable to see Guthrie[3] and Walton[4] together. We have now discussed the matter and I wish one of us could run over to see [p. 2] you about it. Unfortunately this cannot be done at present so I send you our opinion - a joint production.

We feel then, that we have no clear claim to a special Gallery for ourselves and that we should be counting too much upon your friendly offices if we were to put forward through you a request for such a thing. The enclosed cutting from the Westminster Gazette[5] shows what the state of affairs was in '89[6] and [p. 3] it confirms our opinion of the impossibility of "outsiders" getting privileges now, which would enormously outweigh the advantages given to "insiders" then, Hence though we appreciate keenly your kindness in falling in with the suggestion made to you we think it better not to proceed with it; The moreso that it is probable that action may be taken by Scottish Artists generally which would cut the ground from our feet if we in the meantime took isolated action for ourselves - One point is clear to us - while we should be [p. 4] loth to take part in the show under the auspices of the Society of Arts, we should welcome the chance of doing so under yours - Do you think such a thing would be practicable? We need hardly say that if you do we should be enthusiastic - as would the best men associated with us - We know you will not think we presume on anything in saying this and of course we quite realise that such a project might be far from your mind - since your position is very different from ours and you will no doubt have much to consider with which we have nothing to do.

Believe me yours very truly

John Lavery

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1.  John Lavery
John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more]. He was Vice-President of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.

2.  Paris International Exhibition
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900.

3.  Guthrie
James Guthrie (1859-1930), landscape and portrait painter [more].

4.  Walton
Edward Arthur Walton (1860-1922), painter [more].

5.  Westminster Gazette
Westminster Gazette, 1889, article not located.

6.  state of affairs was in '89
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889. JW had exhibited in the British Fine Art Section in 1889. JW replied on the same day that there was no chance of getting a room, #09974.