Louis M. Eilshemius, 1864-1941: An Independent Spirit

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9781887149099: Louis M. Eilshemius, 1864-1941: An Independent Spirit
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An eccentric bohemian and self-proclaimed "Mightiest Man and Wonder of the Worlds," Louis Michel Eilshemius was a painter, a poet, a composer,.and a prodigious correspondent. Championed by Marcel Duchamp, Eilshemius attracted the support of numerous artists and collectors including Louise Bourgeois, Katherine Dreier, Gaston Lachaise, Joseph Stella, and Alfred Stieglitz. For over a half-century, his work has been housed in the collections of Joseph Hirshhorn, Duncan Phillips, Roy Neuberger, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, yet his independent vision has been curatorially and critically assessed only intermittingly during this period. According to National Academy Director, Dr. Annette Blaugrund, "Eilshemius presents a compelling story of a man who, although neglected during most of his career, was embraced by artists of the 30s and 40s. Encouraged by the artists of the National Academy of Design, we are pleased to present Eilshemius' work in an environment, which is currently receptive to figurative art." (left: Louis M. Eilshemius, Figures in Landscape, 1906, oil on canvas, 22 1/2 x 35 3/4 inches, Coll: WMAA) Representing the first comprehensive analysis of Eilshemius in over twenty years, the exhibition will contain over forty-five of his major paintings on loan from The Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Neuberger Museum, The Phillips Collection, and private collections. Exciting new findings unraveling this largely elusive legacy include a.rediscovery of the remarkable painting The Prodigy (1917), as well as a previously unpublished lecture given by the artist at the Société Anonyme, which will be published in the accompanying catalogue. Primitive or sophisticate, daring visionary or academic disciple, Louis Eilshemius remains a painter of inherent contradictions.

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