The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 171 of 172

System Number: 01538
Date: 3 April 1903
Author: Charles Lang Freer[1]
Place: Detroit
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F470
Document Type: ALS[2]


April 3rd, 1903.

Dear Mr. Whistler;

your cordial telegram assuring me of your approval of my action in withdrawing your paintings from the current exhibition of the Society of American Artists[3] gives me much pleasure.

It is a real delight to feel that your wishes were anticipated and promptly executed.

All of the leading [p. 2] American newspapers have condemned the bad management of the three leading official divisions of the Society i.e. the board of control, the jury and the hanging committee. The newspapers and the public express much disappointment at the loss of an opportunity to see your work.

I accidentally met Mr. Knoedler[4] while in New York recently, and exchanged a few words with him on the subject, which of course, was then the topic of conversation in art circles. In parting he said "whenever Mr. Whistler wishes to exhibit his work in New York, my galleries are at his disposal."

I might add, that I am confident without having raised the question, that the same can safely be said of every other first class public gallery in all America. Galleries are numerous enough, but the rub comes when one tries to get examples of your work -

Mr. Canfield[5] has been most thoughtful and supporting in our first round with the Society, and what is still more important, he tells us of your increasing strength -

Wishing you perfect health, I am, with affectionate greetings,

Charles L. Freer

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1.  Charles Lang Freer
Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more]. See his earlier letter, 30 March 1903, #13799.

2.  ALS
Published by Merrill, Linda, With Kindest Regards. The Correspondence of Charles Lang Freer and James McNeill Whistler, 1890-1903, Washington and London, 1995, no. 81, pp. 187-88.

3.  Society of American Artists
See JW's telegram, 31 March 1903, #11601.

4.  Mr. Knoedler
Roland F. Knoedler, art dealer.

5.  Mr. Canfield
Richard Albert Canfield (1855-1914), gambler [more].