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    Prendergast in Italy (Part of An American Season)

    Presented by at Museum of Fine Arts - Audrey Jones Beck Building

    February 14 - May 9, 2010

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    Prendergast in Italy (Part of An American Season)

    Encounter five exhibitions by four intriguing artists during "An American Season" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The work of Maurice Prendergast, John Singer Sargent, Alice Neel, and Charles M. Russell comes together in a uniquely American gathering of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) presents the exhibition Prendergast in Italy (Part of An American Season), on view Sunday, February 14 - Sunday, May 9, 2010 at the Audrey Jones Beck Building.  This exhibition brings together for the first time the unparalleled bodies of work that American Impressionist Maurice Prendergast (1858—1924) produced during two trips to Italy, in 1898 and 1911.

    For centuries, aspiring artists flocked to Italy to study the art and architecture of the ancient world and the work of the Old Masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In the 19th century, American artists were especially attracted to what writer Henry James called the "time-mellowed harmonies" of Italy, and of Venice in particular. For Prendergast, the sites of Venice provided a spectacle of color and pattern that he transformed into stunning and bold modernist artworks, catapulting him into the front ranks of American artists.

    Prendergast in Italy will feature approximately 70 watercolors, plus monotypes and related oils, sketchbooks, letters, and Japanese prints, drawn from a number of public and private collections, as well as from the Williams College Museum of Art (home of the Prendergast Archive and Study Center) and the Terra Foundation of American Art (the second-largest repository of Prendergast holdings). The presentation will demonstrate Prendergast´s ranking in American art as a technically superb watercolor artist. The vivid palette and liveliness of his work disguise the rigor and bold aesthetic approach to his subjects in works that continue to charm new generations of museum goers.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published in English and Italian by Merrell Publishers in London.

    Prendergast in Italy is curated by Nancy Mowll Mathews, Eugénie Prendergast Senior Curator of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Art, Williams College Museum of Art; and Elizabeth Kennedy, Curator of Collection, Terra Foundation for American Art. Emily Ballew Neff, Curator of American Painting and Sculpture at the MFAH, will organize the Houston presentation of the exhibition, following its showings at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) July 18 — September 20, 2009, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, October 9, 2009 — January 3, 2010.

    Pictured:  Maurice Prendergast, Grand Canal, Venice, c. 1898—99, Williams College Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Charles Prendergast.

    Museum of Fine Arts - Audrey Jones Beck Building

    5601 Main Street
    Houston, TX 77005

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    $7.00 adults
    $3.50 seniors/children 5-18

    Free admission on Thursdays.

    Children (18 and under) with a Houston Public Library PowerCard or any Public Library card receive free general admission on Saturday and Sunday.

    General Day and Time Info:

    Regular Exhibition Hours:
    Tues, Wed 10am-5pm
    Thurs 10am-9pm
    Fri, Sat 10am-7pm
    Sun 12:15pm–7pm

    Closed Monday, except Monday holidays.

    Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

    Phone: 713-639-7300


    Free outdoor parking is available in the street-level lot directly across from the Law Building at 1001 Bissonnet Street.

    Parking is available in the MFAH Parking Garage for $6. The easy-to-find parking garage is located directly east of the Beck and Law buildings on Binz, and is marked by a large, yellow arrow.

    Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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