The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Winter Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887-1888
Record 16 of 30

System Number: 13124
Date: [November/December 1887][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Horace Henry Cauty[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Call Number: Archives of Art and Design, RBA WHI 25
Document Type: ALS


Monday night


Dear Mr. Secretary -

I fancy you are fashing[4] yourself about little matters that are really scarcely worth your while - and I should be so sorry to think that you could in the most exaggerated moment suppose that any act of mine should be intended to place in jeopardy your authority before your official [p. 2] surroundings - I would not for worlds give countenance to any such false impression - and what I said tonight was for the purpose of doing away with any appearance of the kind -

On the other hand I know that I can rely upon you to throw no discredit upon any order that Mr Hanson[5] may carry to either Mr Le Patourel[6] or the clerk - You know that he is absolutely irresponsible - and as he represents in any thing that he says, myself - being sent by me when I cannot attend, any discussion of his message or doubt as to its propriety would seem to put in question the authority of myself -

You know fulwell [sic] that I cannot entertain the possibility of disagreement between my officers & myself - could not all supposition of the kind be avoided by your telling Mr Le Patourel that so & so is your order - but that of course if any order, clashing with it by chance, were to come to the Gallery from the President, it must immediately be attended to? -

As to the tickets my dear good Cauty, you know, entre nous, that they are not worth worrying [p. 3] about - It is quite sufficient that you tell Mr Le Patourel that he is to give none away without orders, and, he being in a responsible position, that would suffice -

Why pain this gentleman for remember he is a gentleman, by this seeming want of confidence? -

As to the list of invitations[7] - my list you know is really the representative list of the evening - and as much the Society list (for the World) as the one in their own books - therefore it is [in?] the interest of the Society that it be got out as soon as the one they had called their own -

Surely you cannot fancy my desire to take more trouble than I am already forced to take for the success of the place!

I am amazed at the length of this note! - forgive me, and believe me dear Cauty

Always sincerely

J McN. Whistler

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1.  [November/December 1887]
Dated by references to the Royal Society of British Artists (see below).

2.  Horace Henry Cauty
Horace Henry Cauty (1846-1909), historical and genre painter [more].

A private gentlemen's dining club. The letter is written at right angles to the heading.

4.  fashing
A Scots word meaning worrying, fussing.

5.  Mr. Hanson
Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more].

6.  Mr. Le Patourel
A. F. or A. J. Le Patourel, painter, acting secretary of the SBA [more].

7.  list of invitations
This may have been a Private View invitation list, possibly for Winter Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887-1888. One such list is dated 15 December 1887 (#13403; see also #13102).