The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02342
Date: 17 April 1898
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: John Lavery[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler I82
Document Type: MsLS[2]

110 Rue du Bac.

To / The Vice Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee -

Gentlemen -

I beg to present to you my compliments.

I regret deeply my continued absence from your meetings - though I wish to acknowledge that no suggestions of mine could have in any way assisted you in your councils, so happily do you work together - and so perfect are the results -

I cannot refrain from congratulating you especially upon this last achievement in Paris - Mr Ludovici[3] will have a most brilliant report to make to you of his mission here -

Not only does he come back to you with many most notable works, but, what is of far greater more [p. 2] importance, he has established the greatest interest in, and consideration for the Society, among the most distinguished men of the time - I will go further and say that, with a tact entirely his own, and a rare habit of the place, he has in many cases of the greatest weight managed to leave strong sympathy and even enthusiasm with those who, at first had met advances with the coldness or indifference of great preoccupation -

The Committee have shown the greatest judgment in selecting Mr Ludovici as their delegate. And if I myself propose for him a vote of thanks, it is only that, for once, I may be with you all in a feeling that I am sure will be unanimous.

I am still not strong enough to write as I would wish - May I beg therefore that Mr Ludovici may be allowed to repeat to you one or two slight suggestions with reference to your home list of invitations, which I was able to make to him in conversation.

And I have Gent[l]emen
The honour to be
Your obedient[4] servant

J. McNeill Whistler

April 17. 1898.

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1.  John Lavery
John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more], Vice-Presidentof the newly formed International Society of Sculptors Painters and Gravers; JW was elected President on 23 April 1898 (he was already Chairman of its Council).

2.  MsLS
Written in the hand of Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], and signed by JW.

3.  Mr Ludovici
Albert Ludovici, Jr (1852-1932), painter [more]. Ludovici acted as go-between JW (who was suffering continual ill health in Paris) and the Society in London during preparations for its first exhibition. The exhibition opened in May 1898 (Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1898). See also A. Ludovici to JW, 19 April 1898, #02302.

4.  April 17. 1898
'Your obedient... April 17. 1898' is in JW's hand.