The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09347
Date: 1 October [1898]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Douglas Straight[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler PC
Document Type: PL[2]



SIR, -

Permit me, in your columns, to correct an erroneous statement - or, rather, to modify an exaggeration - that an otherwise bonâ-fide prospectus is circulating in Paris. An atelier[3] is to be opened in the Passage Stanislas, and, in company with my friend the distinguished sculptor Mr. MacMonnies[4], I have promised to attend its classes. From an enthusiasm, which has taken the character of loyalty or gratitude - for which through life I am unprepared, and therefore without all precaution - the patron has issued a document[5] in which this new arcadia is described as the "Académie Whistler!" and further qualified as the Anglo-American School.

I would like it to be understood that, having hitherto abstained from all plot of instruction, this is no sudden assertion, in the Ville Lumière[6], of my own. Nor could I be, in any way, responsible for the proposed mysterious irruption in Paris of whatever Anglo-American portend! "American," I take it, is synonymous with Modesty, and "Anglo," in Art, I am unable to grasp at all, otherwise than as suggestive of complete innocence, and the blank of Burlington House[7]. I purpose only then to visit, as harmlessly as may be, in turn with Mr. MacMonnies, the new Académie, which has my best wishes, and, if no other good come of it, at least to rigorously carry out my promise of never appearing anywhere else. -

And I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

J. McNeill Whistler.

Whitehall Court, London,

Oct. 1.

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1.  Douglas Straight
Douglas Straight (1844-1914), lawyer, politician and editor of the Pall Mall Gazette [more].

2.  PL
Original presscutting (Whistler, James McNeill, 'A New Academy,' The Pall Mall Gazette, no. 10,458, vol. 67, 3 October 1898, p. 4) ; see also Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B.93. The same text was sent to the editor of the Daily Chronicle and printed with the same title, but with slightly different paragraphing and punctuation (#07664).

3.  atelier
The Académie Carmen, word of which was already spreading in Paris in September, according to JW (letter to Carmen Rossi, 27 September 1898, #10736). JW sent a copy of this presscutting to Carmen Rossi on 4 October, #10735.

4.  MacMonnies
Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937), sculptor [more].

5.  document
See #00008.

6.  Ville Lumière
Fr., city of light.

7.  Burlington House
Home of the Royal Academy.