The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Dr Hermann Beck Letter to James Bolivar Manson 13 October 1913

Dr Hermann Beck 'Letter to James Bolivar Manson' 13 October 1913
Dr Hermann Beck
Letter to James Bolivar Manson 13 October 1913
Tate Archive TGA 806/1/42
In this letter in German, Hermann Beck apologises to James Bolivar Manson for not having paid for a work he bought in the spring of 1913 saying that since then a company he has been involved with went bankrupt and he lost almost all his money. It is not clear exactly which exhibition he bought from or who the work is by, but towards the end of the letter Beck refers to Manson’s ‘Künstlergruppe’ (art group) saying that if he was not in financial difficulties then he would have taken steps to arrange a Berlin exhibition for the group. Although the third and final Camden Town Group exhibition took place in December 1912 (so earlier than spring 1913) it is possible that Beck bought a painting there and is writing to Manson, as secretary of the group, about payment. It is not clear who Beck was or what was his connection with Manson. This letter suggests that there may have been a Camden Town Group exhibition in Berlin if circumstances had been more favourable.

Helena Bonett
July 2011

Transcript

[Letterhead:] Dr. Hermann Beck
Berlin W. 15, Schaperstr.[aße] 26
13 Oktober 1913
[Typescript:]
Herrn Kunstmaler J. B. Manson,
98 Hampstead Way
Hampstead Garden Suburb
LONDON N.W.
 Sehr geehrter Herr Manson!
 Ich bitte vielmals um Entschuldigung, dass ich Ihnen nicht schon längst den Kaufpreis für das im Frühjahr d. J. gekaufte Bild übermittelt habe. Der Grund ist der, dass ich infolge des Zusammenbruches eines Unternehmens, an dem ich beteiligt war, fast mein ganzes Vermögen verloren habe, sodass es mir bisher beim besten Willen nicht möglich war, den Betrag zu erübrigen. Sie können aber versichert sein, dass ich, sobald es geht, jedenfalls aber noch im Laufe der nächsten Monate, Ihnen den Bertrag übermitteln werde. – Durch die genannten finanziellen Schwierigkeiten bin ich leider auch verhindert worden, meinen sonstigen – insbesondere auch den künstlerischen – Interessen in der gewohnten Weise nachgehen zu können. Ich hätte sonst längst Schritte getan, um mich für eine Berliner Ausstellung Ihrer Künstlergruppe zu verwenden. Auch in diesem Punkte muss ich Sie um die Freundlichkeit bitten, sich noch einige Monate zu gedulden.
 Indem ich Sie bitte, mich auch Ihrer Frau Gemahlin bestens zu empfehlen, verbleibe ich
   mit besten Grüssen
    Ihr ergebener
     [Hermann Beck’s signature]

Translation

Dr. Hermann Beck
Berlin W. 15, Schaperstr.[aße] 26
13 October 1913
Mr J. B. Manson, Artist
98 Hampstead Way
Hampstead Garden Suburb
LONDON N.W.
Dear Mr Manson!
I beg your pardon that I have not already initiated the payment of the picture that I bought in spring this year. The reason is that as a result of the collapse of a company at which I was involved in, I have lost almost all my capital, so I honestly have not been able so far to spare the money. However, you can be assured that, as soon as I am able to, but in any case in the next few months, you will receive the payment. – Due to the mentioned financial difficulties, I was unable to attend also to my other – especially artistic – interests in the usual way. Otherwise I would have long since taken steps to make a case to exhibit your art group in a Berlin exhibition. Also in this matter, I must ask for the courtesy to wait for another few months.
May I also please ask you to give my best regards to your wife, I remain
    with best regards,
     Sincerely yours
      [Hermann Beck’s signature]

How to cite

Dr Hermann Beck, Letter to James Bolivar Manson, 13 October 1913, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/dr-hermann-beck-letter-to-james-bolivar-manson-r1104554, accessed 19 June 2019.