Nathaniel Silver
Nathaniel Silver is William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Silver, Nathaniel
Silver, Nathaniel
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Description: Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent
What do John Singer Sargent’s (1856–1925) painting of Atlas (1921–25), his mural Entering the War (1922), and his portrait of Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1923–24) have in common with Cyrus Dallin’s (1861–1944) sculpture of Massasoit (1920)? At first glance, very little....
PublisherYale University Press
Related print edition pages: pp.11-39
Description: Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent
~In February 2017, digging through a storage cabinet in search of a set of Whistler etchings, I came across a large portfolio. Contained inside were ten stunningly beautiful large-format works on paper signed by Gardner’s friend John Singer Sargent. The nine charcoal drawings and one collotype depicted bodies in whole and part, both women and a man. He...
PublisherYale University Press
Description: Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent
Winner of the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award, sponsored by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)

In 1916, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) met Thomas Eugene McKeller (1890–1962), a young African American elevator attendant, at Boston’s Hotel Vendome. McKeller became the principal model for Sargent’s murals in the new wing of the city’s Museum of Fine Arts, among the painter’s most ambitious works. Sargent’s nude studies and sketches from this project attest to a close collaboration between the two men that unfolded over nearly ten years. Featuring drawings given by Sargent to Isabella Stewart Gardner and published in full for the first time, a portrait of McKeller, and archival materials reconstructing his life and relationship with Sargent, this book opens new avenues into artist-model relationships and transforms our understanding of Sargent’s iconic American paintings. Essays offer the first biography of McKeller and a window onto African American life in early-20th-century Boston. They also address the artist’s sexuality, his models, and questions of race and identity.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal.*
Print publication date February 2020 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300249866
EISBN 9780300266146
Illustrations 136
Print Status in print