Kokoon arts club

DEFINITION

One of the more active art clubs in Cleveland, Ohio between 1911 and 1940, it had the reputation for "unconventional activities and espousal of 'new' art". Among its activities were exhibitions and guest artist lectures. Founders were Carl Moellman and William Sommer who patterned the organization after avant-garde New York art groups that were seeking alternatives to academic art. Other members included Carl Binder, Henry Keller, William Zorach, August Biehle and Charles Burchfield. The Kokoon Club, which for many years excluded women, became especially known for its annual 'Bal Masques', celebrations of Cleveland's bohemian community by featuring "unconventional costumes, exotic dances, opening processions, enormous props and clashing decorations". The Club's original location was a tailor's shop in East 36th Street, but in 1921, it moved to 2121 East 21st Street. Club membership declined because of economic stress during the Depression years and also with the increasing acceptance of modernist, abstract art. Source: "The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History", http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=KAC

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