Prendergast Archive and Study Center

Prendergast Archive and Study Center

Charles Prendergast: Behind the Scenes

We are now in the midst of digitizing Charles Prendergast’s tools. I really like the way that the Smithsonian website has a way for the viewer to explore Julia Child’s Kitchen, and that the Norman Rockwell Museum has an interactive panoramic view of Rockwell’s studio. Perhaps later on in this project we can produce something similar, but for now you can get a sense in the artistic production of Charles Prendergast by viewing some of his tools. Here is an image of Charles working in his studio.

The museum has in its collection 98 of Charles Prendergast’s tools. These include:


carving tools


screw hole starters

a palette

In the book William Glackens and the Ashcan Group by Ira Glackens, the author recalled the studio: “The Prendergasts’ studio at 50 Washington Sqaure, as remembered by a small boy, was a magic place. There was so little in it unconnected with art that the paintings, panels and chests (gold, silver, vermilion, viridian, cobalt), the Persian jars, the marionettes, the smell of paints and whiting and the faint aroma of rabbit glue, mingle in one wonderful pastiche”.

Check back as we digitize more objects connected to the behind-the-scenes artistic processes of the Prendergasts!

One Response to Charles Prendergast: Behind the Scenes

  1. Drew Stevens says:

    The tool designated as a “Screw hole Starter” on your page is called, I believe, a gimlet. Using the word might help elucidate the 19th century expression “gimlet-eyed” as well as lending a certain aura to the the cocktail by the same name.