The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: press, journalist
Record 11 of 50

System Number: 03534
Date: [28 March 1889][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Henry Labouchère[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 7/69/2-70/1
Document Type: MsLd[3]

In an interview with a wily American Journalist, Mr Mortimer Menpes[4], would seem to have done his best to destroy himself in the opinion of his brother artists.

Affected by interviews, and much puffing in the Pall Mall and other papers, he apparently lost his head completely, under Mr Sheridan Ford's[5] tempting offer of further paragraphs in "the States", and proceeded to give himself away to that Gentleman, without compunction or discretion of any kind.

I We have had sent to me us the Philadelphia Daily News containing a minute and very lengthy scathing account of what I might call Mr Menpes' misfortune - to say the least of it.

Not content with much foolish Confidential detail as to how he managed the press, and combined hospitality with advertisement, he further [p. 2] arregated [sic] to himself artistic achievements and repute belonging to his confrères, finally declaring himself to be the inventor of the system that for years the world has associated with the name of Mr Whistler.

Mr Menpes in making his rash statements must have strangely relied upon the simplicity of Mr Sheridan Ford, who with grim humour and justice has now, I hear flooded the studios of London, with copies of the Philadelphia paper.

Mr Whistler sent on his own to the offending "pretender" with the following note:-

"You will[6] blow your brains out - of course

"Piggot[7] has shown you what to do, under the circumstances, and you know your way to Spain


[butterfly signature] "

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [28 March 1889]
Dated by publication.

2.  Henry Labouchère
Henry Du Pré Labouchère (1831-1912), journalist and Liberal MP [more].

3.  MsLd
Written by Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more].

4.  Mr Mortimer Menpes
Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), artist [more].

5.  Mr Sheridan Ford's
Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more].

6.  You will
JW's message to Menpes is #04034.

7.  Piggot
Richard Pigott (ca 1828 - d.1889), journalist and forger [more], who after admitting his forgery of a letter from Parnell, fled to Spain and killed himself.