In portraits by John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), sitters assume elegant stances, the fabric of their dress richly depicted in broad, sensuous strokes of paint. Sargent brought his subjects to life, but he did much more than simply record what appeared before him. “Fashioned by Sargent” explores the artist’s complex relationship with his often-affluent clients and their clothes. The exhibition reveals Sargent’s power over his sitters’ images by considering the liberties he took with sartorial choices to express distinctive personalities, social positions, professions, gender identities, and nationalities.
On the northern tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown has long been regarded as a refuge for artists and a vibrant hub of experimentation and innovation. In 1916, Boston Globe critic A. J. Philpott described the small fishing village as “the biggest art colony in the world…one of Nature’s laboratories in which creative minds and artistic souls can work.” Among those creative minds and artistic souls, a group of artists, many of whom were women, achieved national prominence for their experimental color woodblock prints—the so-called Provincetown Print.