August 4, 1933
I am delighted to hear from you directly. Paul Sachs was with us a couple of months ago and I was made happy because he told me that you had been lecturing at Harvard on Chinese art and how satisfactory they found you. I want you to devote yourself more and more to the study of Chinese Painting and with your pupils aim at giving us through irrefutable historical documents and stylistic considerations based upon them, an essay toward a history of Chinese Painters. I want to know their dates and what now really survives of them either in originals or faithful copies.
You know that we in the West have as yet no thing of the kind. I for one pay no attention to a name affixed to a Chinese picture. If any one of them do apply, it is by accident, and not because we really know. I own two early Chinese scrolls. (How is it that you never saw them? I have owned them for 20 years at least). One represents female dancers and women gathering about a lady seated who holds a cup in her hand. The other is a series of Palace Scenes. The first was published in Dedalo by Binyon and Aurel Stein. I can send you the article if you want it. Part of the second was reproduced in the catalogue of the exhibition of Chinese Art got up by Vignier in Paris several years ago.
I can let you have photos of either or both. I trust you will be coming this way soon. It would be a great pleasure to see you again, and to show you what Chinese paintings we own.
My wife has been very ill, and will I fear never be quite well again. She improves and then relapses. She is here now. She has taken to writing. Recently she published a book called a Modern Pilgrimage. It is about our journey to Syria and Palestine. Have a look at it. Don’t be so Young-Lady-ish about your English. It is good enough.
Remember me to the Grews.