The Prendergast Brothers: An American Success Story

The Prendergasts represent a quintessential American success story. Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, they immigrated to the States with their parents in November of 1868, settling in Boston’s South End, where they attended public school through the eighth grade. After their father’s business failed, the brothers went to work, each drawn to artistic pursuits—Maurice to a “showcard” business where he handpainted signs and advertisements and Charles to a commercial art gallery where he served as an errand boy. Despite their modest beginnings, the Prendergast brothers rose to great acclaim within a few decades, driven by a passionate desire to master their callings in art and craft and to participate meaningfully in the most advanced artistic movements of the time. Friends, collaborators, travel companions, and studio mates, Maurice and Charles encouraged and promoted each other’s work, fashioning for themselves a life of culture and opportunity, exhibiting in prestigious shows nation-wide, and establishing their positions as masters of Modern art.

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