The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 27 of 31

System Number: 09946
Date: 18 May 1898
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: John Lavery[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Tate Gallery Archives
Call Number: Lavery Collection, TGA 7245/263
Document Type: ALS[2]

110 Rue du Bac -

18th May. 1898.

Dear Mr Lavery -

I enclose letter to the Committee which I beg you to read, with my compliments, at the first meeting Mr Howard[3] will call at your earliest convenience.

The business of the Society will then come on in due course - I take it for granted that the correspondence with the Prince[4] was read out to you all, as I desired - If overwhelming work prevented this at the moment, the letters can be read at this meeting - that you may see the kindly disposition of H. R. H., so that on a future occasion, with more time given him to dispose of his lesser engagements, it will beis evident that the Society may depend upon all that a distinguished body of Britons can ask from their Prince! -

I need not say how pleased I was to find among you, on the evening of my arrival, our staunch camarade, Shannon[5] -

His presence was proof of his devotion to us - for however slight, from our own point of view, may have been his connection with another association, still it has [p. 2] been considered, before now, of importance, and the severence of such ties, painless as it may have been, is still a graceful offering of loyalty as well as evidence of wit.

The Committee will instruct Mr Secretary to enter the account of Mr Shannon's resignation from the Academy and formal adherence to ourselves in the minutes - and, with Mr Howard's facilities in the Press, I think it were well that the gallant episode be properly known.

Meanwhile I would point out to you that you have transmitted to me no statement, from Mr Shannon to yourself, in reply to my letter with which you made him acquainted.

The business of the Exhibition has necessarily hitherto retarded these considerations - Now Mr Shannon may give you his official answer, that the incident may be closed and the precedent established.

Catalogue: In future we shall do better - I trust that rectifications have been made, and I should like to see a new copy.

I have received a further communication from Marlborough House. The Prince reiterates his intention of visiting the Exhibition, but owing doubtless to late notice, is unable to fix as yet any date.

I beg that you will read this letter also to the Committee, and I am dear Mr Lavery

Very sincerely Yours

J. McNeill Whistler

'P.S. I should like to be assured that Mr MacMonnies' Shakespere has been placed on the pedestal - and that the Forains are hung -'

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1.  John Lavery
John Lavery (1856-1941), painter [more] was Vice President of the recently formed International Society of Sculptors Painters and Gravers.

2.  ALS
Written in the hand of Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. The postscript is written in JW's hand.

3.  Mr Howard
Francis Howard (1874-1954), painter, art critic and collector [more], Secretary of the ISSPG.

4.  Prince
Albert Edward Saxe-Coburg (1841-1910), H.R.H. The Prince of Wales [more]. JW had asked the Prince to attend the opening of the Society's inaugural exhibition (Exhibition of International Art, International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1898). See JW to the Prince of Wales, undated letter draft, #01045, and to Sir Dighton Macnaghten Probyn (1833-1924), Secretary to the Prince of Wales [more], #13541.

5.  Shannon
James Jebusa Shannon (1862-1923), genre and portrait painter [more]. JW wished to exclude Royal Academicians from the ISSPG but Shannon had been elected ARA (Associate Member of the Royal Academy) the year before. See F. Howard to JW, #02319; #02341). In the end, while Shannon was forced to resign from the Executive Council of the Society, he remained as an Honorary Member (see Dorment, Richard, and Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London, 1994, p. 54).