The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Howard, Francis
Record 9 of 87

System Number: 02278
Date: [8 February 1898][1]
Author: Francis Howard[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler I19
Document Type: ALS[3]





My dear Mr Whistler

Our Council Meeting here yesterday was attended by[4]

Gilbert (in the chair)
C. H. Shannon
G. Sauter
F. Howard.

A certain amount of business was got through. The form of initial announcement to the Press was decided and authorised to be issued. It was decided to place the number of works to be received from non members at two.

It was decided - nothing interfering - [p. 2] to have the Private View on May 7th (Saturday) and open the Exhibition on the following Monday.

The further invitation of Carlous Duran[5], Fremiet[6], Begas[7] (of Berlin), Dillens[8], & Jef Lambeau[9] [sic], to Honorary Membership was decided. It was decided to communicate further with the Honorary Council regarding the works they will exhibit.

There came a very serious hitch however, which has deferred the framing of the General Rules of Exhibition till another meeting which will be called for next Friday at 6 o clock. If it is possible I would urge your coming over for it - I doubt if anything else will save the situation.

Gilbert started out alright [sic], and we were proceeding admirably, when he proposed Dagnan-Bouveret[10] as an Honorary Member. Personally I think it would have been better to have given in to him, but the whole council opposed him so strenuously that he withdrew the name. This seemed to unsettle him altogether and to invest him with one of the inexplicable moods which occasioned my writing to you about him before. First of all he stated that all the works (we will have to get about 400 to fill the gallery) should be invited. Lavery [p. 3] tried to point out how unpracticable and impossible this would be, and that we would inevitably exhaust the possibilities of particular invitation (which we intend of course to do) and have[11] to complete the exhibition from works submitted to the Council in the ordinary way.

Gilbert however became more impossible by suggesting that the whole exhibition should consist only of the Council - Executive and Honorary.

He is evidently incapable of taking a practical view of the circumstances, and we jumped at his suggestion to hold another meeting on Friday to decide these points.

I am sure if you came every thing would turn out all right.

[p. 4] Otherwise things are proceeding admirably, and It would be a pity if one man were to wreck the undertaking and undo our work on the point of great success.

I shall wait very anxiously to hear from you.

Yours very sincerely

Francis Howard

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [8 February 1898]
Dated from the almanac and the reference to the second meeting of the newly formed International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, 7 February 1898 (minutes, #02277). JW was elected Chairman on 16 February 1898 and later, in April, President (see Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 217).

2.  Francis Howard
Francis Howard (1874-1954), painter, art critic and collector [more].

3.  ALS
Two letters are written on the verso and have been transcribed separately (#02379 and #02279).

4.  attended by
Those listed as present are Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934), sculptor [more]; Arthur Melville (1855-1905), watercolour painter [more]; John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more]; Charles Hazlewood Shannon (1863-1937), painter and lithographer [more]; George Sauter (1866-1937), painter [more]; Maurice William Greiffenhagen (1862-1921), painter and illustrator [more]; William Rothenstein (1872-1945), artist [more]; and Francis Howard (1874-1954), painter, art critic and collector [more].

5.  Carlous Duran
Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837-1917), painter [more].

6.  Fremiet
Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910), sculptor [more].

7.  Begas
Reinhold Begas (1831-1911), sculptor and painter [more].

8.  Dillens
Julien Dillens (1849-1904), sculptor and medallist [more].

9.  Jef Lambeau
Joseph ('Jef')-Maria-Thomas Lambeaux (1852-1908), sculptor [more].

10.  Dagnan-Bouveret
Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929), naturalist painter [more].

11.  have
Double underlined.