My Female Friend Richard

Marcel Duchamp to his sister Suzanne, 1917 Apr. 11. Jean Crotti papers, 1913-1973, bulk 1913-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.


April 11 [1917]

My dear Suzanne—
Impossible to write—

I heard from Crotti that you were working hard. Tell me what you are making and if it’s not too difficult to send. Perhaps, I could have a show of your work in the month of October or November next—here. But tell me what you are making—Tell this detail to the family: The Independents have opened here with immense success.

One of my female friends under a masculine pseudonym, Richard Mutt, sent in a porcelain urinal as a sculpture; it was not at all indecent—no reason for refusing it. The committee has decided to refuse to show this thing. I have handed in my resignation and it will be a bit of gossip of some value in New York—

I would like to have a special exhibition of the people who were refused at the Independents—but that would be a redundancy!

And the urinal would have been lonely—

See you soon,




Translation from: Naumann, Francis M and Marcel Duchamp. “Affectueusement, Marcel: Ten Letters from Marcel Duchamp to Suzanne Duchamp and Jean Crotti.” Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 22, No. 4. (1982), p. 8.