The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900
Record 12 of 41

System Number: 07325
Date: 23 May 1900
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1313
Document Type: ALS

[Picture of hotel]

NOS { 127.55
        { 127.57


LE 23 Mai 1900

Well, you are yet on the island, my dear friend, much to my surprise.

As I wrote you, I shall leave here on Sunday morning, & if you like to come to dinner on Sunday night at 7.30 sharp, (or, as you have never been able to be anywhere "sharp", say 8 o'clock blunt,) I shall be glad to have you. We can go to the Café (p. 2) Royal or Criterion.

Of course, I have no desire to interfere with Mrs. Heinemann's[2] arrangements, and, at any rate, you would not permit me.

I have really nothing to do here but curse the gout and see the Exhibition[3], which is very fatiguing. There is so much to see, & many things are of great interest. A curiosity is a clock which does not strike, but tells the time by a phonographic voice.

There are many things which I should like to have, but Poverty, gaunt Poverty is in [p. 3] the way. Such jewellery, precious stones and so on! I looked at the Spanish stuff, but what I wanted was poorly & coarsely made. It was not a question of price, but of quality.

I am very tired & must go to my expensive bed - frcs: 20.50 par jour. Really to enjoy it I should lie in it until one or two o'clock p.m.. I saw to-day in this hotel two young American men from God knows where, drink tea for dinner, until the meat came & then had champagne! There's a mixture for you!! I never saw that [p. 4] before.

Mrs. Pennell[4] should come here and write a series of articles on "Eaters and their manners" or some such title. You cannot say anything but mere eaters, knife swallowers, &c. &c.

Oh, it's amusing - and disgusting too. No, not all Germans, there are others.

Hoping to find you in good health on the island, I am, as ever,

Sincerely Yours

O'K -

Monsieur Whistler

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1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more]. JW called him O'K.

2.  Mrs. Heinemann's
Magda Stuart Heinemann (m. 1899), née Sindici, pseudonym 'Kassandra Vivaria', writer [more]; she was then posing for Portrait of Mrs William Heinemann (YMSM 531).

3.  Exhibition
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900.

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