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Charles and Maurice Prendergrast in WCMA Collections
This seminar will investigate the careers of Maurice and Charles Prendergast, who occupy curious positions in American art. Students will work closely with the art and archival collections of the Prendergasts at WCMA, which is the largest repository of their work in the world. Maurice’s Post-Impressionism placed him at the forefront of American modernism in the first decades of the twentieth century, culminating with his inclusion in the infamous Armory Show of 1913. Charles, a leading frame maker before adapting techniques of his craft to create incised panels, intersects with the Arts & Crafts Movement, Symbolism, and vernacular material culture. While the brothers are firmly canonical, they are often regarded as isolated from major formal and iconographic concerns of their peers. Scholarship, much of it produced at WCMA, has often focused on their subject matter. Participants in this class will consider new material and theoretical approaches to the brothers’ work that may (or may not) prove productive in resituating their place in American art.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class participation and writing assignments
MA students, then advanced art history undergraduates