Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Court Yard, West End Library, Boston

Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American, St. John’s, Newfoundland 1858–1924 New York)
ca. 1900–1901
Watercolor, gouache, and charcoal on off-white wove paper
14 15/16 x 21 1/2 in. (37.9 x 54.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Estate of Mrs. Edward Robinson, 1952
Accession Number:
Not on view
Prendergast painted a series of watercolors of Boston’s West End Library, restored since the early 1960s to its original use as the Old West Church. Here, the historic building and its courtyard bustling with patrons are arranged in bands, a recurring compositional choice of the artist. Prendergast’s interest in experimentation is apparent in the center foreground, where he outlined in graphite and wash the figures of a man and a young girl but never completed them.
Inscription: [at lower left]: [illegible inscription which has been largely scraped off]; [at lower right in black ink]: Prendergast / Maurice Prendergast / 1901
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