The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05321
Date: 4 May 1888
Author: Members of the Royal Society of British Artists
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler R217
Document Type: ALS

[rectangular logo with crowned lion:] R. B. A.


May 4 1888


The undersigned Members of the Royal Society of British Artists request that a Special Meeting of the Society be called under the conditions of the 10th clause of the Charter to consider the following resolution

"That Mr J. McNeill Whistler be requested to resign[1] his Membership of the Society"

We are, Sir
Your obedient Servants

William Holyoake[2] V. P.

Horace H. Cauty[3] Secretary

L. C. Henley[4] Audtr

A W Weedon[5]

Chas. Cattermole[6]

Geo. A. Holmes[7]

Walter J. Morgan[8]

Thos Roberts[9]

T. B. Hardy[10]

J. McNeill Whistler Esq
Royal Society of British Artists

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1.  resign
JW had been President of the Society since June 1886. However, his autocratic style and instigation of radical changes to the Society's exhibition policy meant that the last months of his Presidency were stormy ((see Dorment, Richard, and Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1995, pp. 49-55). A Special General Meeting was held on 12 May 1888 (see R. B. A. Minutes, #13402). He resigned as President on 4 June although he remained in the position until November. His resignation was followed by that of Menpes, Sickert, Alfred Stevens and others.

2.  William Holyoake
William Holyoake (1834-1894), genre and historical painter [more].

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

4.  L. C. Henley
Lionel Charles ('Bill') Henley (1843-1893), genre painter, RBA auditor [more].

5.  A W Weedon
Augustus Walford Weedon (1838-1908), watercolour painter, RBA auditor [more].

6.  Chas. Cattermole
Charles Cattermole (1832-1900), watercolourist and history painter [more].

7.  Geo. A. Holmes
George Augustus Holmes (1861-1911), painter [more].

8.  Walter J. Morgan
William Jenks Morgan (1847-1924), genre painter and illustrator [more].

9.  Thos Roberts
Thomas Edward Roberts (1820-1902), painter and engraver [more].

10.  T. B. Hardy
Thomas Bush Hardy (1842-1897), marine painter [more].