The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07135
Date: 10 November 1896
Author: Archibald James Stuart Wortley[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1124a
Document Type: MsLc[2]


Quotations struck out by Committee -
Resulting Correspondence:

"8 Grafton Gallery -

Nov. 10 - 96

My dear Jimmy -

I have been asked to write to you -

The question of the lines you wished inserted in the Catalogue was seriously taken into consideration by the Committee; and I have to tell you that though we all feel the greatest possible reluctance to oppose your wishes in any way, we were practically unanimous in thinking that it would be better to omit them.

To this consideration we were brought by two considerations - First, that the Catalogue of our Society and Exhibition is entrusted to us, and goes out to the world with our names as responsible for it, representing the Society; and does not therefore admit of responsibility for any exception to its usual contents by any other person. In short that in printing those words we cannot avoid making ourselves responsible for them, even if we would -

Secondly, we feel that your own position and dignity (thank you! [butterfly signature]) will be better served by allowing the picture[4] alone to emphasize, by its unquestioned delicacy & beauty, the point of view which you have in your mind -

You must by this time be fully aware of the deep appreciation of your conspicuous talent by the Committee & members of our Society; and you know also that as personal friends of long standing most of us would wish to carry out any thing you desired done, to the letter -

If therefore admiration did not prompt us in your interests, [p. 2] affection would step in to do so -

But we cannot think that it would be to your interest to do this particular thing: while we are convinced that it would not be right in us to appear to take any part in an issue which we must consider as personal to yourself; however much we might agree with the principles for which you wish to contend - -

These, however lamely expressed, are the views which I have [been] asked to communicate to you by our Committee; to which I may add the strongest expressions of regret that we should not feel able to comply with any request you make -

The position assigned to your picture by the Committee sufficiently shows their appreciation of it - It is equally sure of its victory with all who have any knowledge of Art -

May we appeal to you as friends, not less than as artists, to let it speak for itself -

Believe me Yrs most sincerely

Arch. Stuart Wortley"

P. S. I send herewith a letter from Walton[5], which we think sufficiently explains his position yesterday towards you, in case he may have in any way misled you as to our intentions - -

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1.  Archibald James Stuart Wortley
Archibald James Stuart-Wortley (1849-1905), painter, first President of the Society of Portrait Painters [more].

2.  MsLc
Written in JW's hand on the same sheet as #13538 and #07136.

3.  (1.)
Written at the top right of the sheet.

4.  picture
Rose and Silver: Portrait of Mrs Whibley (M.1415).

5.  Walton
Edward Arthur Walton (1860-1922), painter [more].