Prendergast Chronology

Here is a timeline of events in the lives of Maurice and Charles Prendergast according to the Catalogue Raisonné.

The brothers Maurice Prendergast (1858–1924) and Charles Prendergast (1863–1948) were born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The Prendergasts moved to Boston to be near their mother’s family after their father’s business closed in 1868. After completing the required eight years of public school, Maurice pursued a path in commercial art and Charles went to work at Doll and Richards art gallery in Boston. They both went to Paris in 1891 to study art, but only Maurice stayed to establish himself as a fine artist, returning to Boston in 1894. Charles began his career as a framemaker at this time. As painter and framemaker respectively, Maurice and Charles were active in avant-garde circles in Boston and New York in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

1857-02-23 16:14:04

Parents marry

On February 23 in St. John's Newfoundland, Mary Malvina Germaine, the fourth daughter of H.M. Germaine, M.D. of Boston marries Maurice Prendergast (according to the Family Bible in the Prendergast Archive)

1858-10-10 16:14:04

Maurice Prendergast born

Maurice Brazil Prendergast and his twin sister, Lucy Catharine are born and baptized in St. John's, Newfoundland (Family Bible; St. John's Basilica Baptism Records). Lucy Catharine dies "at the age of 18 or 20" (Draft of a letter from Eugénie Prendergast to Peter Wock, July 8, 1960, Prendergast Archive).

1860-11-19 04:40:18

Richard Prendergast born

A brother, Richard Thomas Prendergast (with a still-born twin sister) is born on November 19, but dies in 1864 (Family Bible).

1864-01-01 04:40:18

Father listed as a grocer

Maurice Prendergast [Sr.] is listed as a "grocer" at 138 Water Street, St. John's, in the Newfoundland Directory.

1864-05-27 04:40:18

Charles Prendergast born

Charles Prendergast is born on May 27th, and baptized on June 24th in St. John's, Newfoundland (Family Bible; St. John's Basilica Baptism Records).

1868-09-10 00:00:00

Brothers attend school

Maurice and Charles attend Rice Grammar School for boys on Dartmouth Street in Boston.

1868-11-01 00:00:00

Prendergasts move to Boston

In November of 1868, the Prendergast family moves to Boston (U.S. Naturalization papers of Maurice Prendergast [Sr.] 1881).

1872-01-01 00:00:00

Maurice Sr. listed as laborer

Maurice Prendergast [Sr.] is listed as "laborer" in the 1872, 1873, and 1874 Boston City Directories and as "confectioner" in 1875, 1876, and 1877 with a home address at 86 West Dedham Street, Boston.

1877-01-01 15:45:57

Charles works for gallery

Charles becomes an errand boy for Doll & Richards Gallery at the age of fourteen.

1878-01-01 00:00:00

Maurice listed as clerk

Maurice Prendergast is listed for the first time (as "clerk") with a home address at 86 West Dedham Street.

1879-01-01 16:14:04

Maurice listed as designer

Maurice Prendergast is listed in the Boston City Directory as "designer" with a business address at 266 Washington St., Boston.

1881-06-24 16:14:04

Maurice Sr. becomes citizen

Maurice Prendergast [Sr.] is naturalized as a U.S. citizen on June 24 (U.S. Naturalization Papers).

1882-01-01 15:51:27

Family continues to live in Boston

During these years the Boston City Directories list the family as living at 119 Centre Street, Roxbury. No occupation is noted for the father. From 1886 until 1890 Maurice registers his business address at 1 Province Street in downtown Boston, which would place him at the firm of Peter Gill, designer of show cards.

1883-11-27 02:24:09

Mother dies

Maurice's and Charles's mother, Mary Malvina Germaine Prendergast dies on November 27 (according to the Family Bible).

1884-01-01 02:24:09

Mrs. Waterbury suggests Maurice studies abroad

Maurice shows his work to Mrs. Waterbury, who suggests that he studies abroad.

1886-01-01 02:24:09

Maurice paints scenes in Wales

Two watercolors by Maurice which depict scenes in Wales are dated 1886 (cat. nos. 509 and 510), and a sketchbook (cat. no. 1475) which contains addresses in North Wales also has a sketch inscribed "May 1, 87, Everett [MA]."

1886-01-01 02:24:09

Charles travels to England

Charles travels twice to England on a cattle boat, the second time with Maurice. After their return Maurice continues to letter show cards, and Charles becomes a traveling salesman for a fine arts shop.

1887-01-01 02:24:09

Charles listed as clerk

Charles is listed for the first time in the Boston City Directory (as "clerk").

1889-06-01 02:24:09

Maurice paints in Maine

During the summer, Maurice paints in Westport, ME.

1891-01-01 02:24:09

Brothers arrive in Paris

Maurice and Charles arrive in Paris by January 1891.

1891-01-16 00:00:00

Maurice listed as decorator

Although living in Paris, Maurice is listed as "decorator" in the Boston City Directories.

1891-01-17 02:24:09

Brothers study

Maurice studies at the Académie Julian (bill for classes, Prendergast Archive), and also at Colarossi's studio, as does Charles.

1891-03-13 00:00:00

Brothers meet Morrice

The brothers meet James W. Morrice, with whom Maurice spends summers painting at Tréport, Dieppe, and Dinard.

1892-01-01 00:00:00

Charles returns to Boston

Charles returns to Boston by 1892.

1892-01-01 00:00:00

Charles registers partnership

Charles E. Prendergast registers his partnership with Lars F. Peterson & Co., maker of wood mantels (Boston City Directories). Hereafter, he uses the initial E. or Edward as his middle name.

1893-01-01 00:00:00

Maurice listed as artist

Still abroad, Maurice is listed as "artist" for the first time in the Boston City Directory.

1893-01-01 00:00:00

Maurice's sketches are stolen

Maurice's sketches are stolen by Michael Dignam and then published under Dignam's name in London by the Studio.

1894-09-01 00:00:00

Maurice returns to Boston

Maurice returns to Boston on September 1st on the S.S. Cephalonia from Liverpool (Passenger arrival list).

1894-09-01 00:00:00

Brothers live in Boston

Maurice and Charles board at the Brookline Avenue corner of Francis Street, Boston (Boston City Directory).

1895-09-01 00:00:00

First exhibition for Maurice

First known inclusion of works by Maurice in an exhibition (Boston Art Club).

1895-09-01 00:00:00

Family moves to Roxbury

Maurice, Charles, and their father move to 83 Hillside Avenue, Roxbury, where they continue to reside until 1896 (Boston City Directories).

1896-09-01 00:00:00

Maurice lists address as Trinity Court

Maurice lists his address in a late 1896 exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as Trinity Court, Boston, a residence of apartments and studios.

1897-09-01 00:00:00

Maurice exhibits at Water Color Club

Maurice begins to exhibit in New York at the Water Color Club.

1897-09-01 00:00:00

Charles begins frame-making

Charles had begun to design and carve frames, and he instructs Hermann Dudley Murphy in frame-making just after Murphy's return from Paris.

1897-09-01 00:00:00

Charles lists himself as artist

Charles lists himself as "artist" for the first time (Boston City Directories).

1897-09-01 00:00:00

Family moves in Boston

Charles, Maurice, and their father live at the Ormonde, 641 Huntington Avenue, Boston, where they will remain until the spring of 1898 (Boston City Directories).

1898-06-29 00:00:00

Maurice applies for U.S. passport

Maurice applies for U.S. passport on June 29.

1898-06-29 00:00:00

Maurice travels to Italy

Financed by Sarah Sears, Maurice travels to Italy and stays for about 18 months. His itinerary included Venice, Padua, Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Rome, Naples, and Capri.

1898-09-01 00:00:00

Family moves to Winchester

Maurice, Charles and their father are listed as living at 27 Winthrop Street, Winchester (1899 Woburn and Winchester City Directory), where they have been since at least April 1898.

1899-09-01 00:00:00

Maurice has a one-person exhibition

While he is still in Italy, sixteen of Maurice's Italian watercolors are shown at the Eastman Chase Gallery in Boston, possibly constituting his first one-person exhibition.

1899-09-29 00:00:00

Macbeth invites Maurice to exhibit

William Macbeth invites Maurice to exhibit in his New York gallery. In Maurice's absence, Charles responds positively on September 29 (Macbeth Gallery papers, Archives of American Art).

1899-11-16 00:00:00

Maurice leaves Italy

Maurice plans to leave Italy on November 16 (Sketchbook, cat. no 1479).

1900-01-03 00:00:00

Maurice exhibits with Murphy

Maurice shows watercolors and monotypes with Hermann Dudley Murphy at the Art Institute of Chicago, January 3-28.

1900-01-03 00:00:00

Family lives in Winchester

The 1900 census lists Maurice, Charles, and their father at 81 Walnut Street in Winchester.

1900-03-09 00:00:00

Maurice exhibits at Macbeth

Maurice has his first major one-person exhibition of watercolors and monotypes at the Gallery of William Macbeth, March 9-24.

1900-07-18 00:00:00

Maurice plans sketching trip

Maurice mentions a sketching trip planned from July 18 until mid-September (letter from Maurice to William Macbeth, July 17, 1900, Archives of American Art).

1900-11-01 14:22:51

Maurice moves to Winchester

By November, Maurice moves to 83 Walnut Street, Winchester, where he and his brother will continue to live at least until 1903, and their father until his death in 1901.

1901-08-31 14:22:51

Maurice's second one-person show

Maurice's second one-person show (watercolors and monotypes) is seen in Detroit and Cincinnati.

1901-09-23 14:22:51

Father dies

Maurice Prendergast [Sr.] dies and is buried on September 23 (Family Bible).

1901-09-23 14:22:51

Maurice wins award

Maurice wins a Bronze Medal at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY.

Prendergast Chronology

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