Charles Prendergast (1863-1948)
A painter and artisan frame-maker, Charles Prendergast was born in Boston, living and working with his older brother, Maurice, in Massachusetts before moving to New York City in 1914. Charles built Renaissance-inspired frames that were simply carved and finished with gilt and raw gesso, many of which were used to frame Maurice's works. He also painted, and by 1912 was executing incised and painted gesso panels as well as carved and decorated chests and screens in exotic motifs. The panels immediately attracted prominent collectors including Albert C. Barnes, John Quinn, and Lillie P. Bliss. Charles Prendergast's work displays far-reaching Near Eastern and oriental influences in style and subject, much of it drawn from the Chinese and Persian collections that he so admired in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
Both Charles and Maurice Prendergast delighted in mosaic color and eye-catching design, though each artist expressed these elements differently in his art. In 1925, after the death of Maurice, Charles traveled to France and married Eugénie van Kemmel upon their return to America. They lived in Westport, Connecticut until his death in 1948.