The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11415
Date: [24 November 1886][1]
Author: 'A British Artist'[2]
Recipient: The Editor, The Daily News
Place: [London]
Repository: Published[3]
Document Type: PLc


SIR, -

Mr. Whistler denies that the recent policy of the Society of British Artists was the cause of the secession of Messrs. Burr[4] and Reid[5] from the ranks of that Society, and mentions in proof of his correction that their resignation took place six months ago. He might have gone further, and added that their secession corresponded in time with his own election as president. It is well known to artists that one, if not both, of these gentlemen left the Society knowing that changes of policy, of which they could not approve, were inevitable under the presidency of Mr Whistler. It will be for the patrons of the Suffolk Street Gallery to decide whether the more than half-uncovered walls which will be offered to their view next week are more interesting than the work of many artists of more than average merit which will be conspicuous by its absence, owing to the selfish policy inaugurated.


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1.  [24 November 1886]
Date of publication in the Daily News. See also JW's letters to the Daily News, [22 November 1886], and 26 November 1886 (#11412 and #11416).

2.  'A British Artist.'
JW was rapidly becoming unpopular as President of the Society of British Artists, having pruned their exhibitions and redecorated the galleries.

3.  Published
Transcribed as published in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, p. 188, under the heading 'An Imputation'.

4.  Burr
John P. Burr (1831-1893), genre painter [more].

5.  Reid
John Robertson Reid (1851-1926), genre, landscape and marine painter [more].