UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Frederick Fox, ??-??

Nationality: British
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:

Identity:

Frederick Fox was a frame-maker and decorator. He lived at 2 The Grange, Brompton between 1873-1875, and 25 St Michael's Grove, Brompton, in 1880.

Life:

Fox was registered at 418 Britannia Terrace, Kings Road, Chelsea. In April 1874 JW instructed him to repair and redecorate the Flemish Gallery at 48 Pall Mall, a gallery which he had taken for a year for his first solo exhibition, Mr Whistler's Exhibition, Flemish Gallery, Pall Mall, London, 1874. JW requested that Fox replace the gallery's maroon cloth with primrose, pink-grey and brown distemper. The repairs and painting carried out by Fox took from 4 April to 4 June and came to about £30 (#12138).

However, in January 1875 the gallery landlord Edward Clifton Griffith demanded that the gallery be returned to its original state and repair work done (#12154). However, JW admitted liability only for the rehanging of the cloth (#11442). Griffith complained that he was losing rent by the delay (#12145), and on 29 January he took legal proceedings against JW to claim back rent and the costs of repair to the gallery (#12140). Fox was to be involved in the rehanging of the cloth, although in the end Griffith's men carried out the work (#11445, #12172).

JW also made use of Fox in other ways. He had him instruct Arthur Frederick Payne as to the manner in which JW arranged his palette. He found Fox 'jolly cheap' and 'wonder[ful]l[y] fully clever'. He told Payne that Fox 'can do almost anything'. He added, 'he is not well off though - so you must pay him at once' (#09354). As well as being hard-up, his health was poor. Anna Whistler described him as 'a martyr to Bronchitis' and wrote that he was 'always laid up in winter' (#11448).

Bibliography:

Kelly's London Post Office Directory, London, 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1880.