The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01944
Date: 21 March 1881
Author: Francis Seymour Haden[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H45
Document Type: MsLc[3]


148, NEW BOND ST. W.

38 Hertford Street

March 21 1881

Dear Sir

I am in receipt of yo a letter[4] from you dated the 18th inst in which you first impute to me an opinion which I have never held and then call me to account for that opinion.

To a peremptory letter so framed I shall not be misunderstood if I simply decline to plead.

Meanwhile, that I was [p. 2] not of opinion that the Etchings in our hands were by Mr Whistler is conclusively proved by the fact that on the day after their reception I had written to Mr Duveneck[5] to arrange for their purchase!

Be this, however, as it may I can have no hesitation on the part both of myself and of the gentlemen engaged with me in a necessary duty in expressing our sincere regret if, by a mistaken representation of our proceedings, Mr [p. 3] Whistler has been led to believe that we had said or implied any thing which could give him pain or reflect in any way on his reputation either with you or your Directors

faithfully yours

(Signed) F. Seymour Haden

M. Huish Esq

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

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

3.  McLc
Copy of a letter made by Huish and published in the Cuckoo: The News and Gossip of the Day, 30 April 1881. Published also in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892, pp. 56-7.

4.  letter
See M. B. Huish to F. S. Haden, #01131.

5.  Mr Duveneck
Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), painter, etcher and art teacher [more]. This reference to Duveneck relates 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. Duveneck submitted three Venice etchings, which included works (such as F. Duveneck, The Riva, No. 2) similar in subject and composition simiar to those etched by JW (such as The Riva, No.1 (K.192)). Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more] (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 which was eventually published by Whistler 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, #01131; JW to F. S. Haden, #13147; JW to Painter-Etcher's Society, #11632, #13151.