Description: William Sartain wrote this chatty letter to his friend, poet Harold Van Santvoord, at the end of November, 1909. He begins by mentioning that he recently moved his studio from a lengthy tenure at 152, to a new building designed specifically for artists at 130 West 57th Street, and that the postman had mis-delivered his mail. He carries on to say that he will have a show at William MacBeth's gallery in February, "Pictures old and new French, American and Italian. Miss Cecilia Beaux will have an exhibition simultaneously at Macbeth's in the other gallery. I do not know if I like this very much or no. She might help me. She told Macbeth that all she ever learned she learned from me."
He carries on to describe trouble he had with the customs house on his recent return to America, and comments on the recent customs fraud convictions related to H. O. Havemeyer's American Sugar Refining Company. He chats further about his new studio, his diet, and two recent editorials by Van Santvoord before coming back to the letter several days later and mentioning that MacBeth sold two of his works in the interim - "the best head I brought over "Mariana" for $750 and an older picture "Beagers Meadows" $1800. Seems sure I am to have a great success." He then says " Screens are all up. I cleaned and fixed up 2 heads for my Feb. show so I can now get to work, only have my rags to unroll. I am not sure but that the light here is too poor for me to care to keep the studio permanently. But it is a handsome room - as a room." Sartain closes with a couple of social comments before signing off "Yours truly William Sartain" and his studio address.
American artist William Sartain (1843-1924) initially trained as an engraver with his father and brother, then studied painting in Paris for several years. Upon his return to the US, he painted at his New York studio and taught at both the Art Students League in New York and at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. His work is in the collections of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, U.S. Capitol, and National Museum of American Art.
Written on both pages of a single sheet of ruled "Grand Union Hotel, Opposite Grand Central Station, New York" letterhead, measuring approximately 9.5" x 6". Item #A00983
Condition: A 1/4" tear at right margin, fold lines; otherwise in very good condition and a nicely detailed snapshot of the artist's life.