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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum / Boston / Art

In 1916, the artist John Singer Sargent met Thomas Eugene McKeller, a Black elevator attendant at the Hotel Vendome in Boston. Sargent found a muse in the handsome and classically-proportioned McKeller, who began posing for Sargent, and served as inspiration for drawings, paintings, and the murals of gods and goddesses that adorn Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. In this online exhibition—which takes the form of an elegant 10-minute video—the preparatory drawings for those murals are on display. The video is a fascinating commentary on Sargent’s subtle transpositions of race and gender. —E.C.

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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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