Maurice Prendergast was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1859. In 1884, with his brother Charles, he went to Paris, where he studied at the Julian Academy with Jean Paul Laurens and Joseph Blanc. In 1889 the two brothers settled in Winchester, Massachusetts, to make a living by the practice of wood-carving and gilding. In 1897 he returned to Europe for a year and it was during this time that he discovered and was influenced by the work of Cezanne. On this and later trips to Europe, he studied and became interested in stained glass, tapestry, mosaics, ceramics, and Persian painting, and shortly before his death in the work of Giotto. His description of form by means of a firm outline was developed through study of the work of the early Italians. In 1912 he established a studio in New York, overlooking Washington Square, and became identified with the revolutionary group known as “The Eight,” but it was not until the Armory exhibition in 1913 that he acquired a group of followers and supporters of his work. He died in 1924.
Charles Demuth Charles Demuth was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1883. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Chase and Anschutz, later in Paris, and returned to live and work in Lancaster. He received early encouragement through exhibitions in the gallery of Alfred Steiglitz, and with wider appreciation, his work in oil and watercolor was acquired by many museums and collectors, including the Barnes Foundation, the Phillips Memorial Gallery, the Fogg Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, Alfred Steiglitz, Georgia O’Keefe, and Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney. His work has embraced a wide variety of subjects. In addition to still lifes and industrial buildings, he has recorded much of the human scene in circus and vaudeville compositions and in illustrations. His personal, sensitive and expert use of watercolors has influenced and contributed to the work of many contemporary artists. He died in 1935.
Carl Kahler Carl Kahler was born in Chicago in 1893 and studied at the school of the Art Institute, at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, with Robert Henri, in New York City, and with Albert Gleizes, in Paris. He participated in the early exhibitions and activities of the Society of Independent Artists in New York City, where his work was shown at the Anderson Galleries and identified with the group of the Daniel Gallery. In Paris he was represented in exhibitions of abstract work organized by Man Ray, with whom he was closely associated.
The reading table with books pertaining to the exhibition has been provided by the Library of the Department of Art of the University of Chicago.