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Murdock Pemberton

People Had Problems With the Art Market Eighty Years Ago

by Whitney Kimball on March 1, 2012
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Still think the Art Workers Coalition were the first to object publicly to the art market? Nay. Way back in the 1920s, the New Yorker’s first art critic, Murdock Pemberton, was a vocal opponent of the starving artist ideal. Many of his writings echo those of contemporary critics and, more recently, Occupy Wall Street groups. His granddaughter, Sally Pemberton, has spent the past two years mining his archives and recently published a scrapbook portrait of Pemberton and his peers. The following are pieces from the New Yorker and lecture notes which Ms. Pemberton found in her grandfather’s suitcase in 2009.

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