UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11354
Date: 23 June 1886
Author: 'The Unknown Quantity'[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: The Editor, Court and Society Review
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 14/1307
Document Type: TLc[2]


To the Editor of THE COURT AND SOCIETY REVIEW.

Sir, -

I have read the article which appeared in your columns from the pen of Mr Salaman[3] in reference to the appointment of Mr Whistler which places him on the throne in Suffolk Street. I quite agree with Mr Salaman's conclusion that Mr Whistler's constituents have acted wisely in appointing him as President of the Society, but I arrive at that conclusion by a different road from that which Mr Salaman has travelled. I am forced to admit that the works of this impressionist who paints under peculiar electrical conditions look to considerable advantage when they are hung upside down. Their appearance is still better when they are arranged on end. That, however, suits the taste of the distinguished crowd who throng the galleries on spring Sunday afternoons, and who would not drive down to Pall Mall to see Rubens[4] giving his finishing touches to the 'Descent from the Cross'. Mr Whistler is the best showman in London. Artists in oil and water colours, like other artists, require a good acting manager. They have found one in the new President of the British Artists.

Yours &c.,

THE UNKNOWN QUANTITY.

Savage Club, Lancaster House, Savoy, W. C.:

June 23, 1886.


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Notes:

1.  The Unknown Quantity
Unidentified.

2.  TLc
Typescript copy of a letter originally published in the Court and Society Review. See also other documents in this sequence: M. C. Salaman's article 'Hail President Whistler,' #11351; 'A British Artist,' 'A Country Collector' and 'Van Eyck' to the Editor, Court and Society Review, #11352, #11353, #11355; M. C. Salaman to the Editor, #11356.

3.  Mr Salaman
Malcolm Charles Salaman (1855-1940), art critic and dramatist [more].

4.  Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), painter [more].