The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 06261
Date: [November/December 1900][1]
Author: George and William Webb[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: Messrs Cassell[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W256
Document Type: ALd[4]


We are instructed by The attention of our client Mr. Whistler has been drawn to grossly misleading statements published on the front page of the November Magazine of Art for Nov. under the form title of form of "A Protest" signed by "the Editor" -

Furthermore the note in form of slip or inset has been added, while showing revealing the Editors sense of the libellous nature of the "Protest", bears no heading to show to what it refers, and readily escapes general notice -

This is proved by the fact that the damaging substance of the paragraph beginning "three eminent artists[6]" . . . implying that Mr Whistler alone exhibited a "prohibited work one work only - and that this has been widely copied in other papers, spr thus spreading the malicious misleading statem imputation that Mr Whistler [sic] high honours were obtained fraudulently by the exhibition of one work only - & that work being in that while the presence of that work itself was due to fav should in itself have disqualified him altogether -

Again if that [illegible]

We are consequently instructed to demand Moreover the note, if seen, but adds to the offense, inasmuch as it [becomes?] is used to repeat the Editors accusation of impropriety, and concludes with an insulting remark that shows the spirit in which the libel is couched -


[p. 2] to be submitted to our approval - & which shall to be printed on the front page of your the next number of the ["]Magazine of Art," in the same position & with that was given to the "Protest", and with equal prominence -

The title The heading and with the heading "An Apology", as was the other "A Protest".

Awaiting your answer

And, we are, Gentlemen
Your obt. Servants

G & W. Webb -

Messrs Cassell -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [November/December 1900]
Dated from the reference to the Magazine of Art article. Webb had also threatened libel proceedings against the Daily Chronicle, see #06260.

2.  George and William Webb
JW's solicitors.

3.  Messrs Cassell
Publishers of the Magazine of Art. The alleged libel appeared in 'The Grand Prix for Painting at the Paris Exhibition - A Protest,' Magazine of Art, November 1900, p. 1. An apology of sorts was published in February 1901 (see 'Mr Whistler and the Paris Exhibition in 'Chronicle of Art - February,' Magazine of Art, February 1901, p. 189).

4.  ALd
This pencil draft is written in JW's hand on the verso of a draft of G. and W. Webb's letter to Cassell, #06262.

5.  Gentlemen
Double underlined.

6.  three eminent artists
Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more], and Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929), naturalist painter [more].