Sanger, William to Sanger,  Margaret, ALS,  Jan. 12, 1914, Reel S1:119, Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College

Item Type Letter
Author William Sanger
Recipient Margaret Sanger
Abstract Discusses art and art theory before moving on to talk about his conflicted feelings about MS and her actions and letters.
Type ALS
Date Jan. 12, 1914
Language English
Archive Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College
Loc. in Archive Reel S1:119
Rights Public Domain
Extra 207078

No date associated with this record.

Created by Robin Pokorski .
Last edited by Esther Katz .

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**First pass transcription — has not been proofread by an editor**

My sweetheart

Today Herbert came with an official note that we carried c/o & see the Cezanne collection — so we spent the afternoon up other [???] I don’t do except that it is the most comfortable well you know how I have felt about Cezanne. I came there with a preconceived conception of the man & his work.

I wont forget his portrait of a old lady with the [???] “his only portrait by himself & finding that matchless, both his [???]all there at the International Show. [???]what I saw there I was certainly impressed with the prowess distinctly I turned to the programme to find out when painted them. (you know Cezanne)  surely signs his work) & few know they were by Cezanne. so when I saw this collection of his work, I was not disappointed indeed I am more impressed than ever that Cezanne [???] one of the biggest men since Rembrant in fact he equals him along many lines. I was particularly impressed with certain portraits of himself & his father & the portrait of a hunchback painter very fine - strong - and revolutionary in handling. I wished you were only here I just miss the spiritual communion of your [???]. In seeing his work I am better able [???] with you I feel sure I have the right conception of color for that the old style of Painting is all right but they had not the same [???] as we have it. Impressionism has released the [???] painter for the old academies that we must spend years copying Greek & Roman statues & let life around go to the dogs

Art is primarily an expression of ones individuality — and of life — of our timesour time belongs to us not to the Renaissance of the 15th century. not with standing the [???] to the cnetury — then may perculate to closure & feel that thats the place to paint pictures, but creating a painter ought to paint any place. sty in Paris is not that his place is any better place than [???] too but just as we know it its just in a hiding place to work in. Just comment for a year as you said. I ought to be glad to be out the moment in N.Y. of course Im not running away from life as you know well Paris life impress one as one must get different points of view and I am taking in all and not “saing nothing” so to shall did you ever notice that there is always a rough class connected with the academies well there academics are not real artists they are mere craftsmen. Basing there trade on the minute & labored drawing so called composition traditions galerie rules formulates emulating turning out “perfect” things so perfect as be or (correct as Hell) no real imagination so this yearly show of the academies are all the same — having been duly passed on by juries into the hands of the stuff as noted above — so here comes Cezanne, a real Revolutionary for he showed a real [???] new point of view — never admitted into the Salons and now six years after his death the French are already falling over themselves to view his tomb — with death if Immortality —

This process of art education that the man must have a masters another might not agree that is [???] it at once lugs the [???] if not called so erudite “astute” so called painters to hand art wise things, a lot of [???] students, all [???] to hear the wise words drop from the lips of a good one.

Getting back to Cezanne, I like him very much but I feel an inward sadness [???] sex years!! I was asleep!! — oh well I am awake now! & I wont go to sleep until the last call this trip.

But what does Cezanne prove if he was an “Anarchist” painter his work shows that to be painter one must perfect the medium with with he works. That is that the work must look like painted work not like solered statues ala Ingres David & all the old fossilized ones called masters. Then again color is a state of being, one is called a colorist and a painter or he is not one if he is not a colorist he might to be a weak case — or some other mechanic the trouble has been that we have mistaken great erudition & learning & culture for art, all this is [???] in the junk heap of old dead relics —

Nice art is received of long periods of drawing — [???] traiditon which the students are forced to go through then the Academies will cover the foundation of color which they [???] but art cant be taught or the [???] would make up to this the letter all there art schools that are taking the money of the poor students ought to be closed up tight — its an [???] under false pretenses for they dont pass over any liking art all — in fact in the last 15 years I have [???] Academy students have [???]. Just got to unlearn everything they acquired.

Well I heard that he especially after liking all this promptly [???] landscape painter if a man is an artist — he will express himself in any medium, landcape or figures, its the dealer who have created this specialization because basically a man work they naturally for financial reasons want to limit a man to do work he originally made his first season.

It has stunted more artists than enough look at poor Renoir a great painter in Manet twice one of the great Impressionists still living by the way. Well he still paints too but just as the [???] want him to the consequence is that he is now [???]. Bush is getting to be one too — he has put down his brush easel.

I hear Matisse wants to give up on Post Impressionist life but his dealer says that if he does they will drop him entirely.

I feel like the free technique I can never knuckle down to the [???] pick technique of Brush is the gut such little [???] should be done with a Brush [???] with a lock pick. I’ll share that scene glorious color he produced with the free method.

I [???] to have my emotions & feeling play through my work — I refuse to be dominated by “methods” — and thats what I feel so much in Lascari that he’s afraid of paints afraid he’s going to spoil — oh I wish I could help him but no he must see it himself I am sure he will I see glimses but all ready I’m sure I am soiled ground and that the years of observation has not been wasted.

I am quit of my little shadow. I am alone with my thoughts - but not really alone all the work to be down crowds on me — the motives, the types — personally all seem to clamor for expression. Indeed the murmuring through my soul is ever insistant. Oh how I wish I could create them in a day but the day is entirely short. So they must wait & take their turn. “I shall dream thee out of the infinite and give thee life, Oh Muse!” So wrote the Granty Boy — & he starting of the right service & shall [???] me as far as on my work here is concerned. I feel now that I have my medium well in hand, stand securely on my own feet, [???] faith I shall paint the life my [???] eyes, even of my generation — that I know, to go through the old masters it used to awe me & yet while I have not lost my unqualified respect for them I feel [???] so strong — that it overwhelms me at times, with the wealth of the aternal to record. I see Beauty in modern life — the tragic of wage slavery is a modern drama which is as Epic as any one that ever was. Today the agitation sort of flitted across my mind — a woman — why not a woman instead of a man. Oh well it must wait. I see it clearly. I feel it, thats all.

I have made sketches of the thinker — a draped figure of a man resting his had in his hand in deep contemplation — the wide studies are complete. I have started this to work on it in between times in case the night scene becomes too much to work on for protracted periods as high color themes usually become. I have decided its a good plan to advance a few things at once for a time & then finally to concentrate on one & complete that.

Its strange how people do take an interest in us. Well I suppose our friends in New York had all kinds of notions what our future relations. Well dear heart if we understand each other the whole world can keep on talking. I just wonder whether the movement will sort of associate your name with [???] especially that it has sorted gone the vowels that we [???] –

I wonder whether he will be insistant and how you will eventually feel dear heart. You know a year is a long time to be away especially as we have been so close to each other. Yet on the other hand if my life has any future meaning to you or if I have just made you feel that you are the only and the real [???] the true insperation of my work, I shall feel that you will not be taken from me, for it’s the best thought that I can express, and you will understand. The understanding we made between ourselves will not be cancelled out [???] especially after reading your dear dear sweet letters – I would be curious to all the fine emotion that swings within us, if I fall for grace. Yet you cant [???] still “best look the other way” it cannot be thats all! I feel the emotional relation to your life too strong as to allow myself that momentary — [???]. Here, the resolve right now, or this should but necessarily influence you, dear one — & shall remain where I always stood for the day. I linked my life with yours.

I shall be true in every respect [???] this might sound prudish yes even hygienically absurd but I know I can do just so long as I feel that the spiritual respect to your life — I still hold that intercourse is not to be classed with a square meal — to be partaken of at will inspite of other considerants — No other women have interested me in the past, or now, and until the woman comes across my life that means more to me than you do — I stand on the old ground — but this whole letter might sound wild by [???] on methods & art in general & finally this [???] — but I dont know what the future will bring I have resolved to be [???], to face the [???] — that personalities are crowding around you knowing if you follow the anarchist teaching to a conclusion it would mean that you must now know these [???] — would I have not yet adapted myself to this — and I have thought long & deep on it — When I read your sweet letter I look [???] heart, dont think I am there & dont let this letter depress you — but you have asked me to express myself & here it is —

I love you sweetheart, always shall love come what may — Its late 12:30am & just close

Good night. Now dont let this letter weaken you there — I live in my emotions & they sometimes come to strong future.

Love ever yours
Bill
Created by Robin Pokorski .
Last edited by Robin Pokorski .
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