The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 03731
Date: 17 May 1888
Author: Peter Macnab[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M65
Document Type: ALS

219 Maida Vale.

17 May / 88.

My dear Whistler,

If in your difficult duty of "forming a Ministry[2]" tomorrow evening, you find that Symons[3] declines the post of Secretary, you might think again of J. E. Grace[4] who certainly said "if there's any difficulty about finding a Secretary, I'll do the work." I also understood some one to say that Grace was coming to live in town, which, if the case, would do away with one objection, and the air of "irresponsible frivolity" might disappear under the burden of office.

With all good wishes for a successful issue
I am
Sincerely yours

Peter Macnab.

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1.  Peter Macnab
Peter Macnab (d. 1900), landscape and rustic genre painter [more].

2.  Ministry
This relates to the Royal Society of British Artists and its annual council elections. JW was attempting to gather a band of supporters about him. He hoped to defeat a proposal recently circulated by eight RBA members to force him to resign (#05321). See Dorment, Richard, and Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1995, pp. 49-55.

3.  Symons
William Christian Symons (1845-1911), painter and designer [more].

4.  J. E. Grace
James Edward Grace (1851-1908), landscape painter and illustrator [more]. Grace was eventually elected to the Hanging Committee.