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Murdock Pemberton: History's Forgotten Tastemaker

Portrait-of-Pemberton-HugoGellertPortrait of Murdock Pemberton, by Hugo Gellert. Courtesy Mary Ryan Gallery/Estate of Hugo Gellert.

Murdock-Pemberton-1915In 1925, the New Yorker magazine published its inaugural issue. Its art critic, one of the founding members of the famed Algonquin Round Table of writers, was a Kansas native by the name of Murdock Pemberton. He became a champion of modernist art, writing essays, reviews and criticism that profoundly influenced how the rest of the nation...and the world...came to see American arts and letters. But over time, history seems to have forgotten Pemberton's contribution to the arts scene of the 1920s, even as the reputations of his friends and colleagues such as Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross and Robert Benchley have grown. Now, Murdock Pemberton's granddaughter is hoping to correct the omission. Sally Pemberton has compiled her grandfather's papers, letters and essays in a new book called "Portrait of Murdock Pemberton." She discussed his career with KPR's Laura Lorson, and explained why he may be the most interesting man most people have never heard of. 

Sally Pemberton is the author of "Portrait of Murdock Pemberton: The New Yorker's First Art Critic." She spoke with KPR's Laura Lorson. Sally Pemberton is speaking about her grandfather and his associates this (THUR) afternoon at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas. For more information, visit the Hall Center website.

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