Thomas Glen Arthur, 1858-1907
Date of Birth: 1858
Place of Death: Algiers, Algeria
Thomas Glen Arthur was a clothing merchant and textile manufacturer.
Arthur became director of the Glasgow manufacturers Arthur & Co. He was a keen collector, particularly of Barbizon and Dutch paintings, and had a fine collection of prints that was bought through Colnaghi's. He was a notable admirer of Whistler's work and owned Study for the Head of Miss Cicely H. Alexander y128 as well as a large number of his etchings including K0200103, K3130105 and K3290403. He sold nineteen of his Whistler etchings to H. Wunderlich & Co. in August 1902 for £357, among them the impression of Gretchen now in the Hunterian Art Gallery. Most of them were probably subsequently acquired by G. W. Vanderbilt. The Glasgow art dealer William Craibe Angus described Arthur to Whistler in January 1887 as 'one of my best amateurs' and asked Whistler to select a set of impressions for him from Dowdeswells (#00167).
Arthur also owned r.: Two Standing Figures; v.: Figure m0464, Venice m0825, Vénus Astarté m1232 and a pencil portrait of Thomas Carlyle by Whistler of a similar size to r.: Portrait sketch of Thomas Carlyle; v.: Head m0462. He did not object to exhibiting Whistler's work, and Venice m0825 was one of two pastels he lent to the 1888 International Exhibition in Glasgow. He also lent Vénus Astarté m1232 to an exhibition in Glasgow in 1892. He was admitted as a lay-member of Glasgow Art Club on 28 February 1887. He lived the final years of his life in Algiers. At his death in 1907, his estate was valued at £291,280.
Records of Glasgow Art Club; 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.