Thomas Glen Arthur was a clothing merchant and textile manufacturer.
Arthur became director of the Glasgow manufacturers Arthur & Co. He was a keen collector, particularly of Barbizon and Dutch paintings, and had a fine collection of prints that was bought through Colnaghi's. He was a notable admirer of JW's work and owned Study for the Head of Miss Cicely H. Alexander (YMSM 128) as well as a large number of his etchings. The Glasgow art dealer William Craibe Angus described him to JW in January 1887 as 'one of my best amateurs' and asked JW to select a set of impressions for him from Dowdeswells (#00167). Arthur also owned r.: Two Standing Figures; v.: Figure (M.464), Venice (M.825), Vénus Astarté (M.1232) and a pencil portrait of Thomas Carlyle by JW of a similar size to r.: Portrait sketch of Thomas Carlyle; v.: Head (M.462).
Arthur was admitted as a lay-member of Glasgow Art Club on 28 February 1887.
Arthur did not object to exhibiting JW's work, and Venice (M.825) was one of two pastels he lent to the 1888 International Exhibition in Glasgow. He also lent Vénus Astarté (M.1232) to an exhibition in Glasgow in 1892.
Arthur lived the final years of his life in Algiers. At his death in 1907, his estate was valued at £291,280.
Records of Glasgow Art Club; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.