The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05283
Date: [25 July 1887?][1]
Author: Horace Henry Cauty[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler R179
Document Type: ALS

20 Gordon Place


Dear Whistler

I suggested to Mr Hanson[3] today that it would be better to refer to the minute books of the Society for data in reference to the schools of the Society as my knowledge was only recollection derived from that source nearly four years ago. That soon after the Charter[4] was granted the schools were opened I know and that a special Committee was formed for their [p. 2] management, my impression is that they were in existence between two & three years and writing from memory that there were about 70 students, the exact reasons for their being closed I cannot recollect but I think it was both on account of Expense and a great falling off in the number of students -

I believe as of far as I can ascertain the Institute has no charter nor do I think the Royal Society of Water Colors[5] has - The latter is I believe an older body than ours, full data on that score in Year's Art I think 1885[6]

I have no idea upon what [p. 3] grounds the title of Royal was granted to the Old W. S. The Institute made a great claim that they had practically formed an Academy for water colors by opening their Exhibitions to outsiders and further by Establishing schools of instruction for students in that medium. I suppose I need hardly tell you their schools have been a ghastly failure, are at present closed, and on the authority of one of their members not likely to be opened again for some time, if ever. I am afraid [p. 4] this is a very meagre supply of information for you to make any use of, if you require anything more let me know as soon as possible & I will make a point of seeing Roberts[7] who has more knowledge than any one else as to the doings of the Society in the past

I remain
Your's truly

Horace H. Cauty

R. W. S. formed in 1804, at first held mixed Exhibitions oil & water, in 1821 became a close body for water color only - full list of members &c. in Year's Art 1885 -

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1.  [25 July 1887?]
This letter seems to have been inspired by JW's wish to gain a Royal Charter for the SBA, during the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in July 1887. It may date from immediately after H. Matthew's letter of 20 July 1887 (#01835), the 25th being a Monday.

2.  Horace Henry Cauty
Horace Henry Cauty (1846-1909), historical and genre painter [more].

3.  Mr Hanson
Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more].

4.  Charter
In 1847 the Society of British Artists was granted a Royal Charter, becoming the Incorporated Society of British Artists (see #05267).

5.  Royal Society of Water Colors
An exhibiting society in London, founded in 1805, and still active.

6.  Year's Art I think 1885
The Year's Art gave details of societies, exhibitions, dealers etc.

7.  Roberts
David Roberts (1796-1864), scenographer and painter [more].