Maurice and Charles, Side-by-Side
Maurice and Charles were known to have distinct artistic personalities and, during their lives, probably chose to exhibit works that emphasized their differences. Nonetheless, if you were to visit their shared studio, it would become clear that there were notable similarities in their work and that they found fascination in many of the same ideas and motifs. In their own ways, the brothers each explored the world of the antique and exotic, the childlike and the primitive, the pastoral and abstract, as well as the rich artistic heritage of America, Europe, and the Middle East. They found inspiration from visits to museums and galleries as well as from their avid reading of art books and periodicals. They drew ideas from their shared studio space, which has been remembered as “like a museum…not just their own paintings and carvings but a fantasy pagoda picked up on a joyous foray to China town, with beautifully designed pottery from the dime store, an ancient bit of mosaic, old Persian jars, and pieces of brocade.”
This final gallery explores instances in which Charles and Maurice clearly took inspiration in each other’s artistic style and subject matter. Both artists turned to the timeless subject of bathers at the waterfront, as revealed in a selection of work from 1910-40. Also presented are several large paintings that Maurice executed in 1914 at the start of World War I, which poignantly reject the notion of such devastating events in the modern world. Ten years later, Charles produced paintings of figures by the waterside that similarly convey abundance, peace, and happiness. Examined side-by-side, one can appreciate the brother’s shared delight in applying rich color and decorative flourishes to depictions of figures existing in harmony within enchanting environments, somewhere between reality and dream.