The Life and Letters of Joseph Pennell - Vol. 1

The Life and Letters of Joseph Pennell - Vol. 1

The Life and Letters of Joseph Pennell - Vol. 1

The Life and Letters of Joseph Pennell - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The Adventures of which Joseph Pennell made a book filled but a part of his life. There is much else that could and should be recorded of a man and artist whose individuality was proof against modern standardization, who, as American illustrator, worked in the great period of American illustration, and who was associated with the most important art exhibitions and movements of his day. This is my reason for writing his biography.

I have let him tell his story in his own words as far as possible. His letters are as full of character as he was himself. When away on his long journeys he wrote to me almost every day but, unfortunately, while the greater part of our early correspondence escaped in the London warehouse where damp destroyed so many of our possessions, next to nothing remains of the years from 1894 to 1917. Friends, however, have come generously to my rescue. I have published the letters as they are, only here and there adding punctuation and missing words or correcting hasty spelling which might mislead, for these are the little services he usually asked of me when we were together. He wrote as he talked and often he talked what Whistler used to call shorthand, too impetuous to bother about details so long as he said what he wanted to say. I remember with amusement his indignation when South Kensington Museum returned a check he had endorsed and deposited, because it was signed by a Pennell with three n's in his name, though it was paid to a Pennell with only two. "I will put as many damned n's in my name as I choose," Pennell said in his wrath, and I could . . .

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