The exhibition views the artwork of Charles Prendergast (American, 1863–1948) in the light of the medieval, Indian, folk, and “primitive” art that inspired his career. It explores Charles Prendergast’s lifelong aesthetic search by juxtaposing works by the artist with objects drawn from the museum’s collection.
Prendergast studied art primarily through the museums and libraries near him in Boston and New York, and, no doubt, imagined his own objects side by side with those of the past. For instance, Circus (1940) hangs near an early nineteenth-century Indian painting, Lakshmi with attendant winged elephants rising from the ocean.
This exhibition features seldom seen works of art from the museum’s collection that span diverse cultures and periods, in addition to special archival materials from WCMA’s Prendergast Archive and Study Center, including Charles Prendergast’s sketchbooks and wood carving materials.