Armory show1913


An exhibition of American and European art in the 69th Regiment Armory Building in New York City, which is often credited as revolutionizing the American art scene by introducing modernist styles that opened the door to abstraction. Most notably, it was the first major exhibition of modernist works from Europe in America and challenged the public attitudes towards visual art. Modifying the perception that as a single event the Show changed American art, E.P. Richardson wrote: "The Armory Show has been magnified by the human need for a myth. It is thus supposed that a single exhibition of two months created and explains, the entire subsequent course of American art. It was instead a vast, confusing ???melange??? of some 1300 exhibits by 300 artists, including the living and the dead, European and American, a few artists now considered great and a great many more now forgotten." (2) Exhibition dates in New York were February 17 to March 15, 1913, and then it traveled that same year to venues in Chicago and Boston. Organizers led by Walt Kuhn, Walter Pach and Arthur B. Davies were members of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. The official title of the exhibit was the International Exhibition of Modern Art because the goal was to show Americans what was happening in European art, especially in France. (German Expressionism was ignored). Another goal was to create an exhibition that countered the conservative annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design. Entrants from France included Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Wassily Kandinsky, and showcased styles were Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism. The leading-edge works of art scandalized many viewers including the over 400,000 visitors in New York. Students at the Art Institute of Chicago burned effigies of the entries of Europeans Henri Matisse and Constantin Brancusi. Sources; Kimberley Reynolds, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms"; Milton Brown, "The Armory Show"; Robert Atkins, "Artspoke"; E.P. Richardson, ???The Ferdinand Howard Collection???, 1969 exhibition catalogue of The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts