System Number: 05321
Date: 4 May 1888
Author: Members of the Royal Society of British Artists
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler R217
Document Type: ALS
[rectangular logo with crowned lion:] R. B. A.
THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS,
SUFFOLK STREET, PALL MALL,
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 his Membership of the Society"
We are, Sir
Your obedient Servants
William Holyoake V. P.
Horace H. Cauty Secretary
L. C. Henley Audtr
A W Weedon
Geo. A. Holmes
Walter J. Morgan
T. B. Hardy
J. McNeill Whistler Esq
Royal Society of British Artists
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.