The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: society president
Record 9 of 48

System Number: 09262
Date: [12 February 1887][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Editor, The Athenaeum[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: [Published][3]
Document Type: PLc

In the Athenaeum of last week is a statement to the effect that the Charity Commissioners had on the 2nd of July made application to various authorities for suggestions as to the disposal of the surplus funds of the British Institution; also that, with a few given exceptions, these applications had in due course been answered. Upon the list of silent ones is placed the President of the Society of British Artists. Permit me to explain that, although already elected as president, I did not enter upon the full functions of that office until months after that date. Meanwhile the letter in question never reached me. I trust that you will through your columns allow me to exonerate the President of the Society of British Artists from any indifference to the interesting questions propounded, or from the want of courtesy to the Commissioners suggested by such unexplained silence.

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1.  [12 February 1887]
Date of publication in The Athenaeum.

2.  Editor, The Athenaeum
The letter was introduced as from JW but was not signed. This was a reply to an earlier 'Fine Art Gossip' published in The Athenaeum on 5 February 1887 (see Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B. 47). JW had immediately checked the accuracy of the report (see correspondence with A. J. Le Patourel, 9-10 February 1887, #05279, #05280).

3.  [Published]
Published in The Athenaeum: Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama, No. 3094 (12 February 1887) p. 231, under the heading 'Fine-Art Gossip'. A similar letter, to the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, was published under the heading 'Mr. Whistler on the Surplus Fund of the British Institution' in 'Letters to the Editor', Pall Mall Budget, 17 February 1887, pp. 19-20, with minor variations, namely 'fund' for 'funds', and the addition of an opening 'Sir, -' and valediction, '- I am, Sir, &c., J. McNEILL WHISTLER.'