UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

return to surnames beginning with ''

John Hollingshead, 1827-1904

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1827.09.09
Place of Birth: Union Street, Hoxton
Date of Death: 1904.10.09
Place of Death: Fulham Road, London

Identity:

John Hollingshead was a journalist and manager of the Gaiety theatre.

Life:

According to Hollingshead, Whistler attended the last rehearsals at the Gaiety Theatre of the Grasshopper, Hollinghead's adaption of Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy's La Cigale, in which a caricature of Whistler painted by Pellegrini appeared. It was first performed on 13 October 1877. Whistler was particularly enamoured with Nellie Farren who played the 'grasshopper', a girl who escaped from a circus troupe. Whistler described her in a letter to Theodore Watts Dunton as 'the belle Farina' (#09575). In January 1878 Whistler made a drawing of her in performance, on the back of a letter to B. Verity and Sons, r.: Masked girl wearing a head-dress skipping; v.: Dancer (M.663) and Souvenir of the Gaiety (M.664). The Greaves family state that Oscar Wilde, Frank Miles and Whistler actually had a song and dance act in the farce. Whistler also made several pen drawings in October 1877 of the accompanying burlesque Little Dr Faust by H. J. Byron.

Bibliography:

Hollingshead, John, My Lifetime, 2 vols, London, 1895; Hollingshead, J., Gaiety Chronicles, London, 1898; Hollingshead, J., Good Old Gaiety, London, 1903; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995; Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, on-line edition (accessed 2004).