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The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Whistler 2003 - Centenary Journal

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23rd December 2003 - 'The International'

On 23 December 1897 was held the first council meeting of the International Society of Painters, Sculptors & Gravers, of which Whistler became President. The Society had as its aim to promote the exhibiting of international art (largely from Europe) in London, and to promote ties between artists of a similar mind across national boundaries.

At the first meeting, the board (consisting of artists John Lavery, Edward Walton, George Sauter and Francis Howard) discussed which artists should be invited for membership. The list drawn up in the minutes of the meeting included names such as Puvis de Chavannes, Rodin, Degas, Klimt and Fantin-Latour (see GUL MS Whistler I17). The meeting also looked ahead to the setting of a date for a first exhibition, which eventually took place in May 1898 and which contained over 600 works by contemporary artists.

For further information on 'the International', see the journal entry for 26 May 2003.