The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04205
Date: 28 May 1888
Author: Robert Koehler[1]
Place: Munich
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M475
Document Type: ALS


May 28th 1888

Mr. J. McNeil [sic] Whistler;

Dear Sir:

Pardon my failing to answer your note[2] of the 18th inst. at an earlier date; our Committee met with considerable difficulty in its attempts to secure your collection for our department, and though Messrs Papperitz and Paulus[3] acknowledge the weight of our arguments, supported by your various letters, we were in the end compelled to relinquish our claim, since we failed to secure the additional room necessary for the purpose of displaying your works in a deserving manner. It was already too late to refuse other work to make room for your own, while Mr. Papperitz had secured ample space for the collection he brought from England, with a wall [p. 2] to spare if deprived of your contributions. Great though our disappointment is, we feel that you are better served under the present arrangement, and this should certainly be the main consideration. I may add, that great delight prevails among the American artists here to learn that you will be so thoroughly represented, and I feel quite confident that you will score a decided success.

Mr. Papperitz tells me, that your pictures have all arrived in good condition, and are now being hung; you will probably already have received this information from the Central Committee

Your request regarding the entry in the Catalogue I have promptly attended to.

Hoping soon to have the pleasure of greeting you in Munich[4]

I remain
Dear Sir
Your most obedient servant

Robert Koehler

27 Gabelsberger St.

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1.  Robert Koehler
Robert Koehler (1850-1917), painter and etcher [more], secretary of the American section of 3rd Internationale Kunst-Austellung, Munich, 1888, which opened in July. JW sent a large group of works - thirteen oils, twenty watercolours, seven pastels and thirty etchings. Amongst the oils were Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242) and Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129). He also sent Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), which was awarded a second-class gold medal.

2.  note

3.  Messrs Papperitz and Paulus
Fritz Georg Papperitz (1846-1918), history, genre and portrait painter [more], and Adolf Paulus (b. 1851), business manager of the Kϋnstlergenossenschaft and instigator of the Munich Secession in 1893 [more]. They organised the British section of the exhibition. However, in an earlier letter, JW had expressed his preference to be with 'my own Countrymen' (JW to R Koehler, 11 April 1888, #09178).

4.  Munich
In a letter dated 7 May 1888 (#03476), JW had expressed his intention to travel to Munich in June. He did not do so.