The New Yorker’s First Art Critic: A Portrait Of Murdock Pemberton

November 07, 2012
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
Farnsworth Auditorium
In 1925, no one in New York City was more surprised than 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. Using detective work and original research, she has assembled a compendium of her grandfather’s writings and those of his contemporaries, many of which have never before appeared in print.
Lecturer Sally Pemberton is a marketing and business strategic who became an accidental historian. She lives in Chicago.
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Price: $6.00