The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Gentle Art of Making Enemies, The
Record 17 of 181

System Number: 11412
Date: [22 November 1886][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Editor, The Daily News
Place: [London]
Repository: Published[2]
Document Type: PLc


MY attention has been directed to a paragraph that has gone the round of the papers, to the effect that Mr. John Burr[3] and Mr. Reid[4] have "withdrawn from the Society of British Artists." This tardy statement acquires undue significance at this moment, with a tendency to mislead, implying, as it might, that these resignations were in consequence of, and intended as a marked disapproval of, the determined stand made by the Society in excluding from their coming exhibition the masses of commonplace work hitherto offered to the public in their galleries. No such importance attaches, however, to their resignations, as these two gentlemen left Suffolk Street six months ago.

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [22 November 1886]
Date of publication in The Daily News .

2.  Published
The same letter was published in The Artist and Journal of Home Culture, VII, 1 December 1886, p. 398 (dated 23 November 1886, #13186) and in 'Mr Whistler and the Society of British Artists', Pall Mall Gazette, 4 December 1886, p. 9. The Daily News version was re-published in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, p. 187, under the title 'An Insinuation', and forms the basis of our transcription. The publication in the Pall Mall Gazette had minor differences in punctuation, read 'passed unchallenged through the door instead of 'offered to the public in their galleries', and was signed 'I am, Sir, yours &c. J. McNEILL WHISTLER.' (See Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B. 40.)

3.  Mr. John Burr
John P. Burr (1831-1893), genre painter [more].

4.  Mr. Reid
John Robertson Reid (1851-1926), genre, landscape and marine painter [more].