The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895
Record 1 of 84

System Number: 01235
Date: [3/10 December 1889?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London?]
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F167
Document Type: ALd

Dear Huish -

I have thought this matter thoroughly over - and I find that I could not in justice to either myself or the Society[3] bind myself to bring out a first rate Exhibition by the date required - I could certainly do, and do very brightly what hitherto has been sufficient for our success - but I must not entertain anything of that would again savour of the collection of sketches with which the Public have, owing to late abuse, become accustomed to associate with individual Exhibitions -

I shall go abroad and bring out work of the character that I believe will not only add to ones reputation, but in the end secure a market of the best kind - [Some?] Of This I would propose to send on to from time to time results you to deal with to the best of the Societys ability - as you have done for many of the men of the day -

I would be pleased that the Public should arrive at knowing that my works were to be obtained through the F. A. S - and surely no salesman in London equals Mr. Browne[4] [sic] -

Now this falling deliberately looking at the thing in the face is [here?] if disappointing to you - greatly even more so to myself - indeed for the temptation to appear in your rooms this next May is tremendous great indeed - But I am sure that in the end [p. 2] we will all be better pleased with each other - and later on we will do something really perfect that will carry all before it -

Meanwhile - you may expect shortly to receive pr the primeurs[5] of the expedition - and with which you can tempt the people - and when it becomes clear ripe evident to both of us, you can make that all is ripe I can trust to your own tact management for clearing the way to the exhibition - in the winter or spring -

There is no [use] in troubling shackling either of us with engagements until then - Mr. Browne was after all right when said he hinted that Mr. Whistler had better get the work done that he wishes and then perhaps we can manage to put some other matters aside ... - -

However in any case I mean you to understand that my next London exhibition I wish to have in no other Societys your rooms. in London -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [3/10 December 1889?]
This is part of an on-going discussion of a planned exhibition of etchings. See for example JW's letter to Huish after his return from Amsterdam at the end of November 1889 (#03460). Huish's letter of 11 December 1889 may be a reply (#01236).

2.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

3.  Society
The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London.

4.  Mr. Browne
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more]. In the end the idea of an exhibition was abandoned, until Mr Whistler's Lithographs, The Fine Art Society, London, 1895.

5.  primeurs
Fr., first-fruits.