Prendergast
Prendergast Archive and Study Center

Prendergast Archive and Study Center

Thirty Years Ago at WCMA

1984 was a pivotal year for both the development of the Prendergast fine art collection and the construction of the Prendergast wing of the museum.  Prior to 1984, the Williams College Museum of Art had only seven works by the Prendergast brothers in its collection, but in 1984 alone, Eugénie Prendergast (Charles’s widow) donated thirty works of fine art to the museum.

Prendergast Wing Construction

Prendergast Wing Construction

In addition to the considerable increase in the size of the collection, the size of the museum also grew as construction of the Prendergast wing, which includes the museum’s two Prendergast galleries continued. Funds for building construction, the Prendergast Catalogue Raisonné project and continuing research and education were provided to the museum in large part by Eugénie Prendergast.

In 1984, the museum also held three Prendergast exhibitions including its very first, simply titled The Art of Maurice and Charles Prendergast which was on view from September 11, 1983 through April 15, 1984.

The Art of Maurice and Charles Prendergast

The Art of Maurice and Charles Prendergast

The other exhibitions included Charles Prendergast: Figures and Carved Panels from April 21 through September 16, 1984 and Portraits by the Prendergasts which was on view from October 21, 1984 through March 24, 1985.

Opening Reception of Portraits by the Prendergasts

Opening Reception of Portraits by the Prendergasts

Recently digitized photos from Eugénie Prendergast’s personal photo collection showcase these exhibitions as well as other images taken at the Williams College Museum of Art.

1984 Dinner at WCMA with Cathy Genvert, Tom Krens, and Joe Butler

1984 Dinner at WCMA with Cathy Genvert, Tom Krens, and Joe Butler

With one final trip scheduled to Pivot Media, the Prendergast digitization project is nearing completion. All of Eugénie Prendergast’s personal photos have been digitized and are available to view on emuseum. A variety of reference photos that Charles and Maurice used for inspiration will be the last of the Prendergast materials to be digitized. Stay tuned as we unveil the remaining images and the completion of the digitization project!

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