The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 149 of 172

System Number: 01872
Date: 1 December 1901
Author: James Guthrie[1]
Place: Glasgow
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler G237
Document Type: ALS


December 1st / 1901

Dear Mr. Whistler

When I called the other day I was sorry not to have the pleasure of seeing you - specially so from the fact that you were not well enough to be downstairs.

By now I hope you are quite yourself again.

Lavery[2] has been the means of bringing to light our mutual misapprehension in the matter of the Scottish Academy.

Believe me it has been [p. 2] a great regret to me that this shd: have occurred.

My purpose in writing you however is not to go into this but to take up again the onus that was mine when I wrote the letter which miscarried.

It seems, then, there is an understanding in the Academy[3] that to protect it a written expression of willingness to accept the Hon: Membership must be obtained by a member from the nominee before the Election of the [p. 3] latter is moved.

Now I need hardly say that it wd: not have occurred to me to ask such a thing from you for myself - or that if I had known of the requirement I shd: have told you when I asked you verbally in Paris.

It only came to my knowledge when - with the intent that your name shd: be brought forward in the best fashion - I asked the President, Sir George Reid[4], to co-operate. He told me of the condition & I at once wrote you on the [p. 4] subject.

On hearing from Lavery shortly before I went to London lately; that you had never received my letter I went to see Sir George again & told him so - He was most kind & wound up by saying: - "If you shew me a scrap from Mr. Whistler I shall propose his election from the chair, while you can second it."

Perhaps you will allow me to make a suggestion. It is that you shd: as the simplest plan, view this letter as my written request for permission to have your election proposed.

A reply favourable, however brief it be, will put all to rights & will be a great pleasure to me, for I shall be able[5] to take up what was always an idea after my own heart -

With best regards, Yours sincerely

James Guthrie

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1.  James Guthrie
James Guthrie (1859-1930), landscape and portrait painter [more].

2.  Lavery
John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more].

3.  Academy
JW was eventually elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Scottish Academy.

4.  Sir George Reid
George William Reid (1819-1887), Curator, British Museum Print Room [more].

5.  shall be able...James Guthrie
The remainder of the text is written in the left margin of page four.