The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 3rd Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Munich, 1888
Record 10 of 53

System Number: 13571
Date: [10/20 April 1888?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London?]
Recipient: James Alfred Chapman[2]
Place: [Liverpool?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H325b
Document Type: ALfd[3]

[...] to repair any damage that might occur to [illegible] it, at my own expense -

Indeed I could not understand the Artist's attitude towards his own production in any other light - Surely his own proof would interest in his work should make it a matter of first importance that his picture should remain always in perfect condition -

Its loss, is not only to the possessor, but to himself - and to posterity -

This is my feeling -

The destruction of a picture is the loss of a work to the world, and so much of the history of the painters life gone from him -

To me nothing is more dear than the preservation of the pictures I produce -

Therefore the risk that you run is my own - and I would hesitate indeed to jepordise [sic] my this Nocturne that I am so fond of and so pleased to know you care for -

In my experience however I should no harm has ever attached to the lending of any works for my exhibition - and when I tell you that I am now sending the portrait of my mother[4], to Germany for the great Exhibition there, that the same picture has been to Paris & to America and back safely - you may believe that I am[5] not calling upon you to venture where I hesitate -

Many others are lending me their pictures - Mr Alexander[6] makes no objection to my sending the full length life size portrait of his daughter -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [10/20 April 1888?]
Dated from the letter on the reverse side of this sheet dated '9 April' (see #02229).

2.  James Alfred Chapman
Probably to Alfred Chapman (1839-1917), engineer and collector [more].

3.  ALfd
Partial draft of a letter written in JW's hand, in pencil, on reverse of #02229. Chapman had agreed to lend Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100) to the Exposition, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1888 (see J. A. Chapman to Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell, #00582). However, there seems to have been some difficulty arranging insurance cover while some paintings (Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Chelsea Snow (YMSM 174), bound for Munich, and one other) were in transit. The draft is likely to have been written around 13 April 1888. See J. A. Chapman to JW, #00578, #00579, #00580.

4.  portrait of my mother
JW sent Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) to the 3rd Internationale Kunst-Austellung, Munich, 1888. Although it does not appear in the catalogue, it was exhibited under the title Der Künstler's Mutter and awarded a second-class gold medal.

5.  that I am ... their pictures -
This section of text is written up right margin.

6.  Mr Alexander
William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916), banker and patron [more], agreed to lend Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129) to the Munich exhibition. The text from here to the end of the letter is written upside-down to the main text, at the top of the page.