[From John Millar Nicholson, 1931]
There were two objects in view in writing this brief memoir. The first was to put into permanent form an appreciative tribute to the memory of John Millar Nicholson. The second was to give pleasure, if possible, to the reader of these pages. If these ends have been achieved, my thanks are due to those friends whose unfailing counsel and encouragement have enabled me to complete a work, however inadequate it may be, in recognition of the art career of one of Manxland's most gifted sons.
J. E. D.
My friend, Mr. Joseph E. Douglas, has asked me for a foreword. " Good wine needs no bush," and Mr. Douglas' wine is good, and also is lavished, not on himself but on the subject of his sketch.
A book on the premier painter of Manxland, John Millar [sic Miller] Nicholson, has long been overdue, and fortunately the pleasurable task has now been undertaken by the right person; a friend of the painter, a man at once artistic and sincere.
The exquisite Island has not many immortals; and while much is known of its national poet, and more of its national novelist, both of whom appear briefly in the Encyclopedia Brittanica - nevertheless till now, our national painter has been simply a name.
Strangers who may visit the Museum will find a number of Nicholson's paintings crowded together (for want of means and space) in a small room, and " killing" each other by their unfortunate elbowing.
Who is this Nicholson? Read Mr. Douglas' book, little, but informative, and you will know much about the painter and will also know, and admire, the indefatigable and independent Manxman; so unremitting in his toil, so richly endowed by Nature.
Genius is a great Order, and has few in its ranks; but if Genius is properly defined as "the power of taking pains," then Nicholson may be rightly termed a genius, and a very fortunate genius to have such a loving biographer as Mr. Joseph E. Douglas.
HENRY HANBY HAY.