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 7 of 7

System Number: 07301
Date: 24 September 1898
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1289
Document Type: ALf[2]


[scroll:] H. WUNDERLICH & CO.
H W & CO.
868 B'WAY N- Y-

Sep. 24th 1898

Dear Mr. Whistler,

The etchings by Whistler which were sent at your request to Vienna[3], have been returned to this port. They cannot pass the Customs here, owing to the impossibility, apparently, of having the proper papers filled out by the Secretary of the Austrian Society of Artists. We have sent him twice, the papers which we desired to have filled, but have always received others in return, which were, and are, useless.

One would think that it is quite a simple matter to do as requested, but we have found that people abroad, nearly always, know better [p. 2] what is required than people here, hence the increase of grey hair and profanity among the unhappy importers. It is all a matter of Custom House red tape, but it is quite as easy to make out correct, as incorrect papers.

I have sent some of the most important etchings to Vienna, and should like to have them back at 868 as soon as possible, for obvious reasons. I fear that I shall not be able to get them, unless you assist me by writing one of your telling notes to the Secretary, requesting him to alter his ways and turn from his cross-grained and obstinate or obstructive path.

His name and address:
Franz Hancke[4]
Sec. Vereinigung Bildener
Künstler Oesterreichs
IV Hechtengasse 1

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

2.  ALf
This is a fragment of a letter, unsigned.

3.  Vienna
The etchingshad been on show at the 1st International Exhibition, Vereinigung Bildender Kϋnstler, Vienna, 1898. They are not identified on the exhibition entry form, #12579.

4.  Franz Hancke
Franz Hancke, Secretary for Vereinigung Bildener, Vienna.