The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889
Record 3 of 62

System Number: 00614
Date: 12 June 1888
Author: Theodore Child[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C115
Document Type: ALS



LE 12 Juin 1888

My dear Mr Whistler

Concerning the forthcoming Universal Exhibition[2] I have come to the conclusion that the best thing for you to do is to look after your own interests yourself. Up to the present there has been no American commissioner appointed; the artists committee here has made no particular progress; nobody can foresee how matters will be managed. News from America indicate[s] little enthusiasm on the part of the artists resident in the U. S. A. Perhaps Frank Millet[3] & Abbey[4] may have some plan. If I were you I would write in fair and bold script an imposing letter to Georges Berger[5] Com. gen. de l'Expos. Univ., Avenue de la Bourdonnais Champ de Mars Paris. You will get an acknowledgement fromor this letter from the Direction des Beaux Arts [p. 2] your letter will be filed and then whatever happens you will always have a basis upon which to kick up a fuss. You know [the] story of [the] man who wanted the Legion of Honor?

- "Have you asked for it?" said a friend
- "No!"
- "Mon Dieu[6] mais il faut en faire la demande pour vous créer des titres."

You may know a trick worth two of this, but as I promised to keep you informed I have determined to write you a few lines.

I have no news yet from Osgood about photos[7] of your pictures. You will not forget I hope?

Faithfully yours

Theodore Child

James MacN. Whistler Eq

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1.  Théodore Child
Theodore Child (1846-1892), journalist and art critic [more].

2.  Universal Exhibition
The Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889.

3.  Frank Millet
Francis David Millet (1846-1912), painter, writer and illustrator [more].

4.  Abbey
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), painter and illustrator [more].

5.  Georges Berger
Georges Berger (1834-1910), adminstrator at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1889 [more].

6.  Mon Dieu ... des titres
Fr., My God but you have to ask for it if you are to have a title given to you.

7.  Osgood about photos
James Ripley Osgood (1836-1892), agent for Harper and Bros, publishers [more]. The photographs relate to an article about American artists at the Exposition Universelle that Child was planning to publish in Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Although the exhibition would not take place until the following year, Child wished to obtain in advance some photographs of JW's work (see J. R. Osgood to JW, #02041, #02042, T. Child to JW, #00615). For the article, see Child, Theodore, 'American Artists at the Paris Exhibition,' Harpers New Monthly Magazine, vol. 79, no. 472, September 1889, pp. 489-521.