The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: architectural plan
Record 21 of 22

System Number: 00131
Date: 13 October 1886
Author: George Aitchison[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler A130
Document Type: ALS


13 Oct 1886

Dear Whistler,

It was very kind of you to write & tell me that touching episode about poor Godwin[2] and I

I had not the slightest idea that he was ill[.] I wrote it because I thought it true

I would willingly write a short notice of him if I were at home & could get to see his works but except a few illustrations of his designs in the Architectural papers I really dont know what he has done beyond the Fine Art Socy[3] Bond St. & the Greek play[4] & it is many years since I saw the illustrations of his designs. I am going South tomorrow but I shall be back in November - It is a pity he died so young as we cannot afford to lose any talent that exists in the profession for there is a good deal more [p. 2] of the métier[5] than the art mostly put into it

trusting you are well

I am
Y ever

G Aitchison

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1.  George Aitchison
George Aitchison (1825-1910), architect [more]. This is a reply to JW's letter of 10 October 1886 (#00130).

2.  Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more].

3.  Fine Art Socy
A design for the Bond Street frontage is still extant; see drawing by T. R. Davison, British Architect, vol. 16, 16 December 1881, p. 632; O' Callaghan, John, 'The Fine Art Society and E. W. Godwin', FAS 100, exhibition catalogue, The Fine Art Society, London, 1976, pp. 4-9; Reid, A., 'The architectural career of E. W. Godwin', in Soros, Susan (ed.), E. W. Godwin. Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer, New Haven and London, 1999, repr. figs. 61-62, p. 171; MacDonald, Margaret F., Palaces in the Night Whistler in Venice, Aldershot, 2001, pp. 109, 111.

4.  Greek play
Photographs of society ladies and friends, such as Louise Jopling (1843-1933), née Goode, later Mrs Jopling-Rowe, artist [more], in classical robes, in a Greek play designed and directed by Godwin, are in the Archives of Art and Design, Victoria and Albert Museum.

5.  métier
Fr., trade.