The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02306
Date: [11 April 1898][1]
Author: Francis Howard[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler I46
Document Type: ALS



My dear Chairman

Unfortunately your letter[3] arrived too late to read at Saturdays meeting. I will read it on Thursday: meanwhile I have passed it on to Lavery[4].

About J. J. Shannon[5] -

Your message about him was a great surprise to all of us!

We did exactly as you told us to do, in your letter, and [p. 2] he was delighted to join and highly gratified at your confidence in him - which I am convinced he will in no wise betray! He thoroughly understands about Gilbert[6] - all that was made quite clear to him - and he has joined with his eyes quite open. More than this, his joining has made a very good impression with the general public, and the general run of painters, who by the way, none of them justify Gilberts conduct. It is generally accepted that we are not in opposition to any existing institution, and I honestly think that to have excluded Shannon would have done away with this useful impression. Of course had we known..... but he accepted quite a fortnight ago. I think you will not regret [p. 3] his inclusion. He attended last meeting and was entirely interested and sympathetic.

I know that for him you come above other men - and am sure it is alright [sic].

The skating season closed with yesterday afternoon, and yesterday evening I had them breaking up the ice!

Could you not get that Manet[7] for us, at Durand Wells[8] (I think I write it correctly?) [p. 4] The New English I hear opens with the strongest show they have ever had, soon. They have Degas[9] Manet and other interesting elements. I should like to have us go them one better on every point. We hope you will send us a good many things[.] When you decide will you [p. 5] let us know[.] I know you have the portrait of your Sister-in-law[10], that of Vanderbilt[11], the young gentleman's[12] I used to encounter at Fitzroy St in dress clothes, the small full len[g]th[13] of a scotchman, and some nudes[14]

If you select any more work in Paris will you please let me know - on account of the insurance

About Alfred East[15]: when I was looking for shareholders Lavery thought he (East) could help us to some, and was inveighed into accepting his offer of a landscape[.] I swore when I heard [p. 6] it, but too late. I am told the thing is one of his best works if that is any comfort with a man like East

I will write again

Francis Howard

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1.  [11 April 1898]
Dated from the almanac, and from the reference to J. J. Shannon and to the Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1898 (see below). JW replied to Howard on 12 April 1898, #02298.

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

3.  your letter
JW to Howard, 10 April 1898, #02294.

4.  Lavery
John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more].

5.  J. J. Shannon
James Jebusa Shannon (1862-1923), genre and portrait painter [more].

6.  Gilbert
Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934), sculptor [more]. Gilbert chaired the first meetings of the ISSPG but resigned after disagreements with the Committee (See F. Howard to JW, #02297 and Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 217).

7.  Manet
Edouard Manet (1832-1883), painter [more]. JW managed to secure the loan of this an immensely important and influential painting, Manet, E, The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian. It became the centrepiece of the ISSPG exhibition. See the letter from A. Ludovici to JW, 19 April 1898, #02302.

8.  Durand Wells
Paul Durand-Ruel (1828 or 1831-1922), Paris art dealer, or one of his sons, Joseph (1862-1928), Charles (1865-1892) or Georges (1866-1931).

9.  Degas
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834-1917), artist [more].

10.  portrait of your Sister-in-law
Possibly Red and Black: The Fan (YMSM 388) or Miss Rosalind Birnie Philip Standing (YMSM 479).

11.  that of Vanderbilt
Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt (YMSM 481).

12.  young gentleman's
Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Brown: Portrait of Arthur J. Eddy (YMSM 425).

13.  small full len[g]th
Arrangement in Grey and Green: Portrait of J. J. Cowan (YMSM 402)..

14.  some nudes
Lavery may have been thinking of nudes or semi-draped nudes from the late 1890s such as Purple and Gold: Phryne the Superb! - Builder of Temples (YMSM 490).

15.  Alfred East
Alfred East (1849-1913), landscape painter and etcher [more].