The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Whistler 2003 - Centenary Journal

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13th January 2003 - A Degree of Distinction

Today marks the anniversary of the death of a former Principal of the University of Glasgow and Principal Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev. Robert Herbert Story, who died this day in 1907. It was Rev. Story who wrote to Whistler in the spring of 1903, offering to confer upon the artist an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, "the highest distinction which it is in the power of the University to bestow" (GUL Whistler G48). Whistler accepted the honour, but was too ill to collect his degree in person, a fact regretted "by all the lovers of Art in this city" (GUL Whistler G54). However, the degree continued to represent the good relations which had existed between the city of Glasgow and Whistler, and which eventually led to the bequest of much of Whistler's estate to Glasgow University.