Edward Middleton Manigault studied initially with urban realists Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller but soon began experimenting with the loose brushwork and bright colors of European modernism. Adagio signals a new direction in his work: a focus on a darker palette, rhythmic forms, and enigmatic female subjects. While the precise meaning of Adagio remains a mystery, its title (a musical term referring to the use of a slow tempo and soft tones) suggests that Manigault was interested in the relationship between art and music, a popular topic at the time. In the late 19th century James McNeill Whistler painted numerous “Harmonies” and “Symphonies,” while Manigault’s friend Arthur B. Davies had recently completed a well-known canvas titled Crescendo.
Adagio was included in the fabled “Armory Show” of 1913, one of the most important exhibitions of modern art ever organized in this country. The Armory Show introduced the work of leading modern European artists, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky and Marcel Duchamp, as well as that of their American counterparts, to the American public. The abstract forms and strident colors featured in much of the art on view were considered shocking at the time.
oil paint, canvas
Measurements: canvas height: 26.00 inches canvas width: 33.00 inches frame height: 35.75 inches frame width: 42.75 inches frame depth: 2.75 inchesMuseum Purchase with exchange funds from various donors; lead matching funds generously provided by Welborn and Patricia Alexander and Charlie and Beth Murray; and additional matching support from The Dickson Foundation, James and Marguerite Hardy, Ben and Marianne Jenkins in appreciation of James and Marguerite Hardy, and the Curator's Circle for American Art. 2010.66
Currently on view at Mint Museum UPTOWN