Search the Collections

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
Nationality: 
american (b. canada)
Gender: 
Male
Birth Date: 
1858
Birth Place: 
St. John's, New foundland Newfoundland
Death Date: 
1924
Death Place: 
New York
Post -impressionist painter, monotypist and watercolorist. Member of The Eight, but not a teacher as were Henri, Sloan and Luks. Most recognized for vivid, colorful, complex depictions of urban scenes of Venice, Boston with representation of subject on a flat plane. 1868 family moved to Boston; 1873 left school, initially clerk in dry goods firm, then commercial art apprentice; 1873-1877 classes at Free Evening Drawing School at Starr King School; 1879 designer of showcards for J.P. Marshall; 1886 with brother Charles (artist and framemaker) worked passage on cattle boat to travel to England and Wales; 1891 studied in Paris at Academy Colarossi; 1892 at Académie Julian; friends with Canadian artist James Wilson Morrice who introduced him to Sickert, Beardsley and Charles Conder; contact with other artists, summer painting trips and sketching in public places of much more importance than his formal study; influenced by Whistler, post-impressionists and Nabis; 1894-1895 returned to Boston; 1895 illustrated Sir James M. Barrie's "My Lady Nicotine" and Sir Thomas Hall's "Shadow of a Crime" for Joseph Knight Company (Boston Publisher); two watercolors at 52nd Annual Exhibit of Boston Arts Club; 1895-1898 produced majority of his 151 known monotypes; 1898 third trip to Europe, produced watercolors of Venice; 1899 returned to Boston; 1900 exhibited 30 watercolors and monotypes jointly with Herman Dudley Murphy at Art Institute of Chicago; 60 watercolors and monotypes at Macbeth Gallery, New York; met Luks and Glackens, increased friendship with Glackens and his family; 1901 met Henri through Glackens; 1901-1902 began to work more extensively in larger format with oils; exhibited watercolors and monotypes at Detroit Institute of Art and Cincinnati Museum Association; Bronze Medal for Watercolor at Pan American Exposition, Buffalo; 1902 marked hearing loss (became deaf by 1905); 1904 began frequent trips to New York; exhibited at National Arts Club, New York, with Ashcan School artists Davies, Glackens, Henri, Luks, Sloan; 1907 visited France; influenced by work of Cézanne exhibited at Salon du Champ de Mars and Salon d’ Automne; 1908 exhibited with The Eight at Macbeth Gallery; 1909 visited France; 1911 returned to Venice, produced little work due to protracted illness; 1913 member selection committee Armory show—exhibited three paintings and four watercolors; 1914 again visited France; moved (with brother Charles) to New York, took studio one floor above that of Glackens who had become a close friend; 1915 major exhibit at Carroll Gallery, New York—works purchased by John Quinn and Dr. Albert C. Barnes; 1922 last one man show at Brummer Gallery, New York; 1923 Corcoran Bronze Medal and William A. Clark Prize awarded by Corcoran Gallery, Washington; died February 1, 1924 New York. Sources: 1. Langdale, Cecily. Monotypes by Maurice Prendergast in the Terra Museum of American Art. Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art, 1984. 2. The Monotypes of Maurice Prendergast., a Loan Exhibition. New York: Davis and Long Company, 1979. 3. Wattenmaker, Richard J. Maurice Prenergast. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994. 4. Homer, William Innes. Robert Henri and His Circle. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969. 5. Young, Mahonri S. The Eight. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1973. cms/97.08.08 v2.0