Documents associated with: Duveneck, Frank
Record 17 of 43
System Number: 05012
Date: 1 April 1881
Author: Edward John Poynter
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P652
Document Type: ALS
28 ALBERT GATE, S. W.
Fri. Ap. 1. 81.
My dear Whistler.
I do not know that I am on the Committee of the Etching Society; however that may be, when I joined the Society in compliance with Haden's wish, I [p. 2] gave him distinctly to understand that I could undertake no duties in connection with it, & I not only did not act on the Committee but was not invited to attend -
I am therefore profoundly [p. 3] innocent of the transactions which form the subject of your correspondence.
I think, however, that, supposing me to have been nominally on the Committee, I may safely say that I shd not have countenanced any such proceedings as you complain of; but it seems to me that Haden in his letter denies [p. 4] that he had come to the conclusion you impute to him, & virtually retracts & apologizes for his suspicions; & if my advice is of any value I shd say, let the matter rest where it is. Your questions are circumstantial, & if, as I presume, justified by the facts, sufficiently show him to have been in the wrong -
Yours very truly
Edward J. Poynter
2. Etching Society
The Painter Etchers' Society, later the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, was founded in 1881.
This relates to an incident between JW and the Painter Etcher's Society. In the spring of 1881, the Society held an exhibition at the Hanover Gallery. However, when the American Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], submitted three Venice etchings, Haden (who was President of the Society) suspected that they were in fact by JW. Anxious to compare the etchings with those that JW had been printing for the Fine Art Society, Haden, Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more] and Dr Edward Hamilton (1815 or 1816-1903), doctor of medicine and print collector [more] paid a visit to the Society's gallery. JW was indignant when he heard of the visit, regarding it as an attack on his artistic integrity. A lengthy correspondence ensued which was eventually published in the form of a pamphlet (Whistler, James McNeill, The Piker Papers. The Painter-Etchers' Society and Mr. Whistler, London, 1881). JW had just sent the correspondence so far to Hamilton (see E. Hamilton to JW, #01949).