The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Burlington Fine Arts Club
Record 35 of 132

System Number: 12953
Date: 25 July [1867][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Committee of the Burlington Fine Arts Club[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Call Number: National Art Library, PC12/6 MSL/1952/1353/2/5/9
Document Type: ALS[3]

2 Lindsey Row.
Old Chelsea -

July 25 -

Gentlemen -

I had the honor to present to the members of the Committee through Mr Boxall[4], a month ago, the statement[5] of which the enclosed is a copy - I have not had the honor of receiving from the Committee an answer. -

On the 14th. of June I had the honor to address to the Committee a letter[6], to which, I have not had [p. 2] the honor of receiving an answer -

If the gentlemen of the committee feel that the very marked course they have pursued towards me, be a mistaken one, and irreconcilable with what they themselves, individually, could expect to encounter, they will doubtless be anxious to express the regret gentlemen experience at having treated a gentleman with less courtesy than must be [p. 3] their habit -

I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant

J. A. McNeill Whistler

The Gentlemen of the Committee
of the Burlington Fine Arts Club -

[p. 4] (9.)

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  25 July [1867]
Year date from recipient.

2.  Committee of the Burlington Fine Arts Club
The Burlington Club was a club for artists and connoisseurs. It was founded in c. June 1866 and located at 177 Piccadilly. Its committee included William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more], Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more] (President), and Ralph Nicholson Wornum (1812-1877), history painter [more] (Secretary).

3.  ALS
See also #00442, a draft of this letter.

4.  Mr Boxall
William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more].

5.  statement
See JW to Burlington Fine Arts Club Committee, #00401. It concerned JW's quarrel with Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], over Haden's treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer died suddenly on 23 April 1867 of alcohol related causes, during a trip to Paris. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. On 26 April, a violent row took place between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) through a plate glass window. Both JW and Haden were members of the Burlington Club. In the aftermath of the Traer affair, Haden, a committee member, campaigned for JW to be excluded from the club, having brought to its attention several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (see JW to L. Huth, #02240). On 11 June, JW received a request for his resignation from the Club on the threat of expulsion (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442). He wrote to William Boxall and Louis Huth (his membership proposers) in protest: 'For some time back the members of the Committee have been accepting continual relays of information and collecting documents which as I now find involve even enclosures from utter strangers on my personal affairs! - And yet at an advanced stage of this elaborate system, the first notification which I receive, actually takes the form of an unmodified request to withdraw from the club at the risk of expulsion!!' (see #00401).

6.  letter
See JW to R. N. Wornum, #00439.