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Charles Prendergast (1863-1948)
Three-legged Stool, ca. 1932-1935
Tempera on gessoed wood
Williams College Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Charles Prendergast, 86.18.24

In the 1930s, Charles produced a number of decorative objects including boxes, stools, and figurines. Rather than making the objects himself, he occasionally acquired a manufactured or used box or stool and then decorated it with incised, painted, and gilded gesso. The motifs he favored were animals, flowers, and figures in folk costume, giving the objects a primitive or folk art appearance. The motifs for these works are likely derived from books on what was commonly referred to as “peasant art,” which were known to have been in Charles’s personal collection.

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