Thursday, March 19, 2020

Boston's Apollo

The Gardner Museum currently has an amazing exhibit of sketches by John Singer Sargent. I was very familiar with Sargent's murals at my local favorite the MFA, but this was a new side of his art for me.

The exhibit features sketches of Sargent's model Thomas McKeller who met Sargent in Boston in 1916. McKeller became Sargent's muse and posed for both male and female sketches.
The history between Sargent and McKeller is a complex and complicated one, as the exhibit pointed out. McKeller posed for many of Sargent's now world-renowned paintings. He was apparently paid very little and for how visible his figure is in now immortalized works of art, he was largely invisible in his time (and apparently paid next to nothing by Sargent).

The history of the pieces and how they were curated raised the question of the power dynamic of artist and muse between race and culture. I know I left the exhibit thinking!



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9 thoughts on the matter:

Shelbee on the Edge said... {Reply}

I am not familiar with this artist, but the work is fascinating and the story behind it even more so! Thanks for always introducing me to new and interesting things!

Shelbee
www.shelbeeontheedge.com

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

Interesting exhibit!

aspiritofsimplicity said... {Reply}

Very good points. One of the most important aspects of art, whether it is visual or audio or any other medium, is that it makes us think. It opens our minds, eyes, ears...to other ways of looking at things If we do not have open minds then we have nothing...society is dead.

csuhpat1 said... {Reply}

What beautiful work. Thanks for sharing it.

Mother of 3 said... {Reply}

What an interesting exhibit.

Lisa notes... said... {Reply}

I'm glad a lot of museums are going virtual to allow peeks inside during the times of quarantines.

Linda said... {Reply}

Wow, I think of John Singer Sargent as a painter of grand portraits, not male nudes. This is amazing!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

This is so interesting!

Michelle said... {Reply}

Beautiful artwork! Interesting relationship between the artist and his subject.