London: William Heinemann, 1895. First Edition, First Printing. Signed presentation copy by James McNeill Whistler to fellow American expatriate painter George Hitchcock. Inscribed: “To George Hitchcock - souvenir of stirring times! [Signed with Whistler’s Butterfly signature].” Whistler’s account of his sensational libel suit against art critic John Ruskin. Ruskin, at the initial debut at the Grosvenor Gallery, wrote a vicious review that Whistler's now acclaimed oil painting of exploding fireworks at night, ‘Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket’ was "flinging a pot of paint in the public's face." Whistler won a tiny sum but ruined himself financially in the process. The book’s recipient, George Hitchcock (1850-1913) was a friend of Whistler’s. Ironically, he developed some angered feeling towards Whistler. Hitchcock had prepared a London exhibition of his own work scheduled to open on April 23, 1892. Hitchcock canceled his exhibition believing that his work would be overlooked because Whistler’s art dealer was presenting a showing of Whistler’s work beginning on March 19, 1892, and that Whistler would receive all the attention, though Whistler, himself, was unaware that there was any problem in scheduling. The book is a very good copy with rubbing and wear at the extremities and the boards. Enclosed in a morocco and cloth clamshell box. (Inventory #: 15174J)
Literature, Performing Arts, Autographs, Manuscripts, Rare Cinema Material, Literary First Editions
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