Manuscript/Mixed Material Letter, Elizabeth Pennell to Mr. Kennerley concerning Aubrey Beardsley's 1891 illustrated letter about James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, 3 April 1929.

About this Item

Title
Letter, Elizabeth Pennell to Mr. Kennerley concerning Aubrey Beardsley's 1891 illustrated letter about James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, 3 April 1929.
Created / Published
3 April 1929
Subject Headings
-  Artists
-  Painters
-  Drawings
-  Goupil Gallery
-  Illustrators
-  Pennell, Elizabeth Robins (1855-1936)
-  Pennell, Joseph (1857-1926)
-  Watercolor painting
-  Whistler, James McNeill (1834-1903)
-  Manuscripts
Genre
Manuscripts
Notes
-  Reproduction number: A98 (color slide)
-  In this 1929 letter, art historian and collector Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936) expresses great interest in and appreciation for what she considers the "most interesting and enlightening" of letters written by the young painter and illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898). The item to which Pennell refers, of course, is the richly illustrated letter, available elsewhere on this site, written by Beardsley to his friend G. F. Scotson-Clark (1872-1927) concerning the art collection of Frederick Richard Leyland (1831-1892) and the famous peacock-motif dining room created by expatriate American painter James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).
-  Widow of illustrator Joseph Pennell (1855-1936), Elizabeth Pennell had coauthored with her husband a 1908 biography of their friend Whistler, whom they had met in London in 1884 along with other luminaries in arts and letters. In this 3 April 1929 letter to Mr. Kennerley, the owner of Anderson Galleries who had possession of the Beardsley letter, Mrs. Pennell writes that her husband had always wondered how Beardsley came under the influence of Whistler's Japanese and Peacock Period, because Whistler created his famous Peacock Room in 1876-77, and by the beginning of the nineties when Beardsley's career took off, that stage of Whistler's work was all but forgotten. She now understands that Beardsley's 1891 visit to Leyland's Peacock Room was the seminal event in Whistler's influence on the younger artist: "All Beardsley's youthful and inspiring enthusiasm is in the letter and the sketch." The "Beardsley incarnation" of Whistler's "Princesse" in the watercolor sketch "would surely have amused Whistler and been accepted by him as a tribute." From the Beardsley letter, Mrs. Pennell, like other art historians and collectors, could now better understand the transference of artistic influences. She mentions that a few years after Whistler's famous Goupil Gallery exhibit in London in 1892, some Bond Street Gallery critics even wondered how Whistler could condescend to imitate Beardsley. Beardsley's letter to Scotson-Clark, however, makes it clear how very much Beardsley, who died young in 1898, derived from the established artist Whistler, who lived until 1903. This "so valuable a document" apparently was acquired by Mrs. Pennell from Kennerly shortly after this exchange and was added to the Library of Congress Pennell-Whistler Collection.
Source Collection
Pennell-Whistler Collection of the Papers of Joseph and Elizabeth Pennell and James A. McNeill Whistler
Repository
Manuscript Division
Online Format
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IIIF Presentation Manifest
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Chicago citation style:

Letter, Elizabeth Pennell to Mr. Kennerley concerning Aubrey Beardsley'sillustrated letter about James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, 3 April 1929. 3 April, 1929. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/mcc.020/.

APA citation style:

(1929) Letter, Elizabeth Pennell to Mr. Kennerley concerning Aubrey Beardsley'sillustrated letter about James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, 3 April 1929. 3 April. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mcc.020/.

MLA citation style:

Letter, Elizabeth Pennell to Mr. Kennerley concerning Aubrey Beardsley'sillustrated letter about James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, 3 April 1929. 3 April, 1929. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mcc.020/>.

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