by Joseph Sheppard
Evergreen House will celebrate the 50-year career of Baltimore artist Joseph Sheppard with Joseph Sheppard: The Early Years, an art exhibit opening at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14. The exhibit will include more than 40 paintings completed by Sheppard during the early 1950s, the first decade after his graduation from the Maryland Institute College of Art. The paintings on display at Evergreen House, located at 4545 N. Charles St., will include street scenes, barrooms, fighters and strippers.
Evergreen House is a fitting site for the exhibit because of the friendship between former Evergreen resident Alice Warder Garrett and Jacques Maroger, a French painter who was Sheppard's painting instructor from 1950 to 1952 at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Garrett, a patron of the arts, met Maroger in Paris and encouraged him to move to the United States, which he did in 1939. Garrett introduced Maroger to the president of the Maryland Institute and he was hired to teach there. Maroger moved into the painting studio on the Evergreen estate after Garrett's death in keeping with her wishes.
Before beginning his studies with Maroger, Sheppard's first efforts at the Maryland Institute were abstract paintings. But his style was influenced by Maroger, who championed the techniques of the old masters. Sheppard used those skills to reflect Baltimore's urban life, capturing images from the ghetto and in the bars and strip clubs along the Block.
Joseph Sheppard: The Early Years continues through January 26, 2003. Admission is free on opening night; after the opening, admission is $3. Sheppard will present "The Early Years: Recollections by Joseph Sheppard," a lecture and slide presentation in Evergreen's Bakst Theater at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The gallery will open at 5 p.m. before the lecture. The event is free to the public.
The exhibit is presented in conjunction with The Walters Art Museum and the University of Maryland University College, where similar displays of Sheppard's paintings will be installed. The Walters Art Museum will display his paintings, drawings and sculptures related to boxing. The exhibit at the University of Maryland University College will cover Sheppard's entire career. For more information call 410-516-0341 or visit www.jhu.edu/historichouses.
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