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    Sale 1260

    ENTERTAINMENT MEMORABILIA

    25 July 2003, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 173

    JOHN LENNON HANDWRITTEN LETTER

    1971

    Price Realised  

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    JOHN LENNON HANDWRITTEN LETTER
    1971
    A scathing one page letter handwritten by John Lennon to an unnamed art critic at 'The Syracuse Post-Standard' in 1971. Penned in black felt-tip ink on Hotel Syracuse stationery, the manuscript reads in full:

    Dear whoever wrote that Hokum about ART,/I'd forgotten about people like you!/Well well - you still exist, of course, in other small/towns across the world./I was wondering - what on earth has what the husband of the artist said, four/or five years ago, got to do with the current/'This is not here' show at Everson Museum by Yoko Ono?/-brought here by a man this town should be proud/of - Jim Harithas - i [sic] mean did people really/discuss Picasso's - wifes - [sic] gossip. I'd also like to/know since when this nameless ghost at the Post -/Standard represented the so called art world? Yoko and i/ [sic] are pretty close to a few artists, (we are artists!)/and as artists, we can tell you that the/'art world' is not in the 19th century, and one/thing artists down the centuries have/been up against is bourgois [sic] mealy mouthed/gossip from the 'grey people' (or Blue Meanies!)/Society only likes dead artists. i'm [sic] afraid Yoko/and myself cannot oblige. I love anyway/John & Yoko/P.S. Why don't you come and see the art - i'm [sic] sure the/man you think i [sic] insulted would turn the other cheek and come./P.P.S. You forgot to mention the other man from the former group/(George Harrison) who is/was a highly religious - fervent disciple/of Christ? Hare Krishna et.al.
    10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches


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    Provenance

    From October 9th-27th of 1971, Yoko Ono had an exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, which she dedicated to John on the occasion of his 31st birthday. Unfortunately, the reviews of the show in 'The Syracuse Post-Standard' were not favorable, so John wrote this letter to defend his wife and her work. He gave this handwritten draft to the current owner, a young woman who was then secretary to James Harithas, the museum's director. Lennon asked her to type and then mail the letter to the newspaper, which she did. When she asked the former Beatle if he wanted the draft back, he told her she could keep it, which she did until now.