Oh, back in the days rejection letters were even done in a polite manner. Here is a copy of Andy Warhol’s rejection letter, dated from 1956, he received form MoMA after giving them a drawing entitled Shoe… as a gift. Now, 56 years later, the museum owns numerous shoe drawings. [Papermag].
The letter states the following:
Dear Mr. Warhol:
Last week our Committee on the Museum Collections held its first meeting of the fall season and had a chance to study your drawing entitled Shoe which you so generously offered as a gift to the Museum.
I regret that I must report to you that the Committee decided, after careful consideration, that they ought not to accept it for our Collection.
Let me explain that because of our severely limited gallery and storage space we must turn down many gifts offered, since we feel it is not fair to accept as a gift a work which may be shown only infrequently.
Nevertheless, the Committee has asked me to pass on to you their thanks for your generous expression of interest in our Collection.
Alfred H. Barr, Jr
Director of the Museum Collections
P.S. The drawing may be picked up from the Museum at your convenience.