The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Boehm, Joseph Edgar
Record 29 of 71

System Number: 12070
Date: 21 November 1878[1]
Author: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: [none]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: AD

(p. 1) To Prove

Matthew Elden[3]
14 Mallison Road
Battersea Rise

(p. 2) To Prove

William Eden Nesfield[4]
19 Margaret Street
Cavendish Square

(p. 3) To Prove

Charles Augustus Howell[5]
Chaldon House

(p. 4) To Prove

Algernon Graves[6] Esqre
Pall Mall

(p. 5) To Prove that

Albert Moore[7]
Studio[8], a large new red brick building close by the Holland Park - Kensington
by the Melbury Road next to large Public House - called I think, the Holland Park Arms -

(p. 6) To Prove that

That in the opinion of Witness Pet

J E Böehm[9] A. R. A
"The Avenue"
76 Fulham Road

(p. 7) To Prove That

Richard Holms[10] [sic]
Queens Librarian

(p. 8) To Prove that

Curator of the Print Room
British Museum

(p. 9) To Prove That

Charles Keen[12] [sic]
11. Queens Road West

(p. 10) To Prove That

James Tissot[13]
17 Grove End Road
St John's Wood

[p. 11] '108[14]'

Whistler v Ruskin[15]

Dft Proofs


2 Copies on Brief Paper - each Proof to commence on a separate sheet
Home 10 o'clock tomorrow morning

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  21 November 1878
These summons relate to the case of Whistler v. Ruskin, which was heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878. The names mentioned in this document were of possible witnesses whose evidence might prove JW's position as an established artist. However, in the end only A. Moore appeared as a witness (see below). For a similar document from the same time, see #11945.

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

3.  Matthew Elden
Matthew Robinson Elden (1839-1885), artist [more].

4.  William Eden Nesfield
William Eden Nesfield (1835-1888), architect and designer [more].

5.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. Howell's name appeared last in the list of witnesses, although he was pre-occupied with a case involving himself, on the day after the Whistler v Ruskin trial.

6.  Algernon Graves
Algernon Graves (1845-1922), of H. Graves and Co., print dealers [more]. In the end no dealers were called as witnesses.

7.  Albert Moore
Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), painter [more]. Moore's testimony at the trial is transcribed in Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 158-59.

8.  Studio ... Arms-
This was all written by JW, and has been crossed out with a vertical line.

9.  J E Böehm
Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), sculptor [more].

10.  Richard Holms
Richard Rivington Holmes (1835-1911), Librarian at Windsor Castle and Sergeant at Arms to Queen Victoria [more].

11.  Reid
George William Reid (1819-1887), Curator, British Museum Print Room [more].

12.  Charles Keen
Charles Samuel Keene (1823-1891), etcher, cartoonist and illustrator [more].

13.  James Tissot
Jacques ('James') Joseph Tissot (1836-1902), painter and etcher [more].

14.  '108'
Written in another hand in upper right-hand corner of sheet. This was one of the legal documents from JW's bankruptcy kept by Rose and given a number.

15.  Whistler v Ruskin
This relates to preparations for JW's libel suit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]. The suit was in response to Ruskin's criticism of JW's works, especially Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), in his periodical Fors Clavigera. On 2 July 1877, he accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the 1st Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.