The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01131
Date: 18 March 1881
Author: Marcus Bourne Huish[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Francis Seymour Haden[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F63
Document Type: MsLc[3]


148, NEW BOND ST. W.

18 Mar 1881

My dear Sir.

Mr Whistler has called upon me, respecting your visit[4] here yesterday with Mr Legros[5] & Dr Hamilton[6], the purport of which had been communicated to him by Mr Brown[7].

He is naturally indignant that knowing as you apparently did, that he was under an engagement not to publish for a certain time, any etchings of Venice[8], except those issued by us, you should suggest that they [p. 2] were his work, & had been sent in by him under a nom de plume.

He considers that it is damaging to his reputation in connection with us, and he requests me to write and ask you whether you adhere to your opinion or retract it.

Believe me to remain
Yours faithfully

(signed) Marcus. B. Huish.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

2.  Francis Seymour Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

3.  MsLc
This is a letter copy, probably made by a clerk.

4.  your visit
This is a reference to an incident between JW and the newly formed Painter-Etcher's Society. In the spring of 1881, the Society held an exhibition at the Hanover Gallery. However, when 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 and Hamilton 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 and it was later published in a pamphlet (Whistler, James McNeill, The Piker Papers. The Painter-Etchers' Society and Mr. Whistler, London, 1881). See also correspondence between M. B. Huish and F. S. Haden, #01944; JW to F. S. Haden, #13147; JW to Painter-Etcher's Society, #11632, #13151; JW to O. Bacher, #00228; F. S. Haden to E. G. Brown, #01943; JW to C. A. Howell, #02878.

5.  Mr Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

6.  Dr Hamilton
Dr Edward Hamilton (1815 or 1816-1903), doctor of medicine and print collector [more].

7.  Mr Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

8.  etchings of Venice
Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).