The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 1st International Exhibition of the Union of Austrian Artists, Vereinigung Bildender Künstler, Vienna, 1898
Record 1 of 7

System Number: 00336
Date: [November 1889][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Joseph Edgar Boehm[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B112
Document Type: ALS

Now listen my dear Mac -

You must put me on the right track about the Vienna exhibition -

It appears that there is to be an Exposition Internationale[3] in something like a month's time - and I learn that the persevering humbug[4] of the surgery has had himself made President of [p. 2] the Etching department for England! -

You can see him from here arranging papers and pigeon holing lies and preparing to pounce upon the prize - whatever that may be! -

But Mac & der Spuch I think can 'over lay' all that - as they say in America - if they put their two heads together! -

First then I ought to meet the Vienese Commissioner[5] - and I ought to arrive at sending the mass of my etchings so that they should be properly seen in their own frames - Then they ought to know that I had the gold medal from[6] Holland - (pays de Rembrant[7]! ) and that of course I ought to have the Gold medal in Vienna! -

But my dear Spuch as we know these things must be dealt with delicately and every body ought to be charmed to have discovered themselves the strong reasons [p. 3] for awarding the honours to this Bashi Bizouck[8] without the pale of "Painter Etchers[9]"!

Do my dear Spuch let me see you and talk this over at once -

Say will you dine with me one evening[.] I want so much to consult with you - It is not only your influence but your wisdom & wit that I want - Suppose we say next Wednesday - dine with me at the Fielding Club[10] - 8. o'clock - and meanwhile think out matters -

[continued on p. 1:] Always

[butterfly signature]

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1.  [November 1889]
Dated by reference to gold medal (see below).

2.  Joseph Edgar Boehm
Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), sculptor [more].

3.  Exposition Internationale
JW may have been misinformed.

4.  humbug
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

5.  Vienese Commissioner
There was a Jubiläums-Ausstellung in Vienna in 1898.

6.  gold medal from
At Tentoonstelling van Kunstwerken van Levende Meesters, Amsterdam, 1889, of which JW was informed on 31 October 1889 (#00161).

7.  Rembrant
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more].

8.  Bashi Bizouck
Turkish irregular troops (literally, 'wild head').

9.  Painter Etchers
Haden was a founder member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers.

10.  Fielding Club
A private gentleman's club.