The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to search results

Documents associated with: Hanover Gallery
Record 15 of 19

System Number: 04077
Date: 29 September 1881
Author: Charles Henry Middleton-Wake[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M347
Document Type: ALS[2]


Sep 29. 1881

Dear Sir

When at the B. Museum yesterday, Mr Fagan[3] shewed me some correspond[en]ce[4], printed, between which had passed between yourself and Mr Haden[5][.] If you have spare copies would you kindly let me have one? I had myself the honour of a 'difficulty' with that highly bred and courteous gentleman, who thought it not unbecoming to use a style and language to which I could not condescend. It may be interesting to add these papers to my little collection

Yrs very truly

C. H. Middleton-Wake

J McN Whistler Esq

[p. 2] 'Revd Middleton Wake -
Painter Etcher paper'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Charles Henry Middleton-Wake
Rev. Charles Henry Middleton-Wake (1828-1915), print connoisseur [more].

2.  ALS
p. 2 is written by JW in red ink.

3.  Mr Fagan
Louis Alexander Fagan (1845-1903), diplomat, writer on art, amateur artist, assistant in the Department of Engraving at the British Museum [more].

4.  correspond[en]ce
A reference to an incident between JW, Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more] and the newly formed Painter Etcher's Society. In the spring of 1881, the Society held an exhibition at the Hanover Gallery. However, when Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], submitted three Venice etchings, Haden (who was President of the Society) suspected that they were in fact by JW. Anxious to compare the etchings with those that JW had been printing for the Fine Art Society, Haden, Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], and Dr Edward Hamilton (1815 or 1816-1903), doctor of medicine and print collector [more], paid a visit to the Society's gallery. JW was indignant when he heard of the visit, regarding it as an attack on his artistic integrity. A lengthy correspondence ensued. JW eventually published it in a pamphlet, Whistler, James McNeill, The Piker Papers. The Painter-Etchers' Society and Mr. Whistler, London, 1881.

5.  Mr Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].