The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 6th Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Munich, 1892
Record 13 of 37

System Number: 04216
Date: [24/31 May 1892][1]
Author: Charles Frederick Ulrich[2]
Place: Munich
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M486
Document Type: ALS



Dear Mr Whistler -

I have received both your telegrams. On Monday afternoon I was told that the government had appointed a commission to buy pictures for the Pinakothek and that this commission intended coming to the Glas palace this afternoon. Consequently I telegraphed to you about the price of the fur jacket[3]. To my feeling it is the picture of the exhibition[4] and ought to go [to] the Gallery. It has a very light and looks simply stunning. Four of the men in this commission are friends [p. 2] of mine Piglhein[5], Loefftz[6] (the Director of the Academy here) Fritz Kaulbach[7] & Marz[8][.] I lost no time in looking each one up & talking it into them that we must try to have the fur jacket purchased. The commission does has at its disposal something like 80000 Marks. It was not possible and would not have been political for me to have been present while they were at the glass palace today. So I simply gave Loefftz your telegram in which you state that your price is 1600 Guineas but letting me [p. 3] understand that you would be would be willing to hear what the government here had to say. This very moment Marz sends me a card saying not nothing has been decided and that nothing will be done untill Saturday when another visit will be made to the Exhibition, but that everything seems to be in smooth water concerning the Whistler. The price has not been talked over. Now you see, Mr Whistler we are pressed for time, and I would feel very happy to see a card attached to your picture when we open the Exhibition [re?] [p. 4] "angekauft[9] for the Kgl. Pinakothek" What I am coming [to] is very delicate and I hardly feel able to express what I how it express it, but considering that we have no time to loose it is best to be pratical & out spoken. The men I have seen & belonging to the commission think that your price is too high; mind not as a work of art but they but as a purchase for the Gallery. 32000 M. is a big slice out of 80000 & they fear that many of our old chaps here (& god knows there are enough of them) would kick like thunder. My impression is that they feel as though they could spend 20000 Mks (twenty thousand) on it.

[p. 5] Can you let me have a telegram by Saturday morning or better Friday evening giving me your lowest figure - but one I can stand by?

You may be assured that I will do all in my power to get this picture for the Munich men. Three of the men in the commission are government officials (no painters) & I am going to call on them tomorrow. This way of doing things may not be sympathetic to you but are quite natural here where there is still a good deal of red tape - I will telegraph to you at once as soon as anything [p. 6] takes place. We open [on?] next Wednesday. The americans exhibit lik looks very dignified. Now please let me have a telegram at once, it will ease me very much.

Yours faithfully

Charles F. Ulrich

excuse haste!

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1.  [24/31 May 1892]
Dated by reference to exhibition (see below).

2.  Charles Frederick Ulrich
Charles Frederic Ulrich (1858-1908), genre painter [more].

3.  fur jacket
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181). The painting was not bought for the Pinakothek. Negotiations to buy Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52), another exhibit, also failed.

4.  exhibition
6th Internationale Kunst-Austellung, Munich, 1892, which opened on 1 June.

5.  Piglhein
Elimar Ulrich Bruno Piglhein (1848-1894), painter and sculptor, first President of the Munich Secession [more].

6.  Loefftz
Ludwig von Loefftz or Lofftz (1845-1910), painter, Director of the Munich Academy [more].

7.  Fritz Kaulbach

8.  Marz
Marz, unidentified.

9.  angekauft
Ger., bought.