Hall Center For The Humanities

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Sally Pemberton
Independent scholar

"Murdock Pemberton, the New Yorker's First Art Critic"
Past Seminars : Modernities Seminar

Thu., Oct. 4, 2012, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Open to all faculty and graduate students.
Location: Hall Center Seminar Room

In 1925, no one in New York City was more surprised than a boy from Kansas named Murdock Pemberton- a newspaper reporter, Broadway publicist, playwright, and poet with no formal training in art or connoisseurship-when an upstart magazine, The New Yorker, named him its first art critic.

Exposés of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, collector Andrew Mellon, and "plush-hung" commercial galleries-written for The New Yorker and other national publications-thrust Mr. Pemberton into the limelight as a David among the philistines, his favorite role.

In 2009, his granddaughter Sally Pemberton stumbled across his collection of exhibition catalogs, clippings, playbills, letters, and photographs in some old suitcases. Using detective work and original research, she has assembled a compendium of her grandfather's writings tracing his Kansas roots and his friendships with the early modern artists and dealers he championed.

Sally Pemberton is a marketing and business strategist who became an accidental historian. She lives in Chicago.

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