The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07160
Date: 10 May 1888
Author: Samuel Putnam Avery[1] and others
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1148
Document Type: PL[2]

New York,

May 10, 1888.

Dear Sir,

It cannot have escaped your observation that the distinction between free-hand or painter etching and reproductive etching has become very marked in the work of American etchers. In recent exhibitions the reproductive variety has been more prominent both as to size and number of exhibits, while free-hand work has been scantily represented.

It has seemed to many lovers of etching that the time has come when an exhibition[3] entirely of painter etchings would be of interest and exert a wholesome influence. After some conferences the undersigned have been requested to ask whether those etchers who have hitherto shown interest in that kind of work are willing to contribute to such an exhibition.

[p. 2] Messrs. Hermann Wunderlich & Co., of New York, offer to give the use of their gallery and to provide the necessary catalogues, asking no other remuneration than the usual commission on sales of the exhibited etchings and duplicates.

It is to be understood that the etchings sent shall not be reproductive, but shall be free-hand work, and that the etched surface of plates shall not in any case exceed one hundred (100) square inches, and that the etchings shall be made expressly for this exhibition. Exhibitors may send more than one example.

It is proposed to open the exhibition in January next. Messrs. Wunderlich & Co. will assume the responsibility of all business details, but etchers who accept this invitation are expected to consider it as an engagement to be met if possible. This invitation will be sent to at least thirty etchers, and the exhibition will take place if at least twenty of those who are asked accept. So soon as so many have accepted, notice will be given of the [p. 3] date in January when the exhibits must be ready. Acceptances, which should be prompt, may be addressed to Messrs. Wunderlich & Co., 868 Broadway, New York.

Respectfully yours,

S. P. Avery,

Charles Hitchcock[4],

J. Holme Maghee[5],

Howard Mansfield[6],

L. M. Yale[7].

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Samuel Putnam Avery
Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), print-publisher, collector and philanthropist [more].

2.  PL
This is a printed circular with handwritten insertion 'Sir'. It appears to have been enclosed with a letter to JW written by Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more], on 23 May (#07159).

3.  exhibition
JW's contribution to the exhibition has not been identified.

4.  Charles Hitchcock
Charles Hitchcock, possibly a collector.

5.  J. Holme Maghee
J. Holme Maghee, possibly a collector [more].

6.  Howard Mansfield
Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), New York lawyer, print collector [more].

7.  L. M. Yale
Leroy Milton Yale (1841-1906), etcher and writer on angling.