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She looked good coming down those stairs
February 19, 2013 6:46 AM   Subscribe

One hundred years ago today in 1913, an art exhibition opened in New York City that shocked the country, changed our perception of beauty and had a profound effect on artists and collectors. The International Exhibition of Modern Art — which came to be known, simply, as the Armory Show — marked the dawn of Modernism in America.
posted by flapjax at midnite (15 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry, it was actually 100 years and two days ago.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:47 AM on February 19, 2013


Forgotten minestrone.
posted by dr_dank at 6:50 AM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sorry, it was actually 100 years and two days ago.

Eh, Duchamp probably used those two days in a Readymade, so it's all OK.

Thanks for this post! The Armory Show was the best! And maybe it still is!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:56 AM on February 19, 2013


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago had an interesting article in their alumni magazine about their students' disapproving response to the Armory Show's visit to Chicago back in 1913. That article's not online, unfortunately, but Chicago magazine has a pretty similar one, which happily also includes the Chicago Tribune's headline ("Cubists Depart, Students Joyful") which about says it all. The Art Institute of Chicago has quite a bit more detail about the students' mock trial of Henri Matisse (dubbed "Henry Hairmattress" by the students) for the offenses of "artistic murder, pictorial arson, artistic rapine, total degeneracy of color, criminal misuse of line, general esthetic aberration, and contumacious abuse of title."
posted by orthicon halo at 7:24 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have I ever mentioned that I love the NPR comment section? Their trolls and conspiracy theorists are very eloquent. For some reason people who hate modern art feel that it's necessary to make their opinion known any time it's discussed.
posted by muddgirl at 7:32 AM on February 19, 2013


I just have to link to my favorite Duchamp-inspired art.
posted by Catblack at 7:41 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Our museum has a little show up to celebrate it - we have a small Ryder that was actually in the original shows both in NYC and Chicago. What I love most is seeing the cartoons that were created in response to the shows. (The last cartoon is also a view into the concept that quilts and other domestic art by women couldn't be art.)
posted by PussKillian at 8:37 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


The show was criticized by the public and the press as a circus of freaks and clowns.
A List of Artists with further expansion.
LA Times article.
The Smithsonian has a new site up : The Story of the Armory Show
posted by adamvasco at 8:40 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are people who hate modern art still? I need to get out more.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:54 AM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are people who hate modern art still?

Yes. If you can't find them look for haters of postmodern art. Postmodern is still a catchall for things people want to dismiss without engaging their minds.
posted by tychotesla at 1:27 PM on February 19, 2013


There are people who hate modern art still? I need to get out more.

Actually, you only have to read art threads at Mefi a little more often! Modern art haters and disapprovers normally swarm here in great numbers spewing uninformed, knee-jerk opinions like confetti raining over a hero's parade! For whatever reason, though, they (mercifully) didn't show up in this thread.

And thanks to those of you who have beefed up this post with all the great links.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:57 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have I ever mentioned that I love the NPR comment section? Their trolls and conspiracy theorists are very eloquent. For some reason people who hate modern art feel that it's necessary to make their opinion known any time it's discussed.

I LOLed at this comment on the NPR site:

It's like the the fairy tale " The Emperor Wore no Cloths".

I recall reading newspaper articles about the show from 1913 that used the exact same metaphor. Except they spelled it and punctuated it correctly. The quality of trolls has decreased in the last 100 years.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:44 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I found Nude descending a staircase a lot more impressive in person than the photographs conveyed.

A surrealism class I was in took a field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art - and I think a fistfight almost broke out among people arguing about exactly what Étant donnés was meant to convey. A hot topic right up until the last class.
posted by Orb2069 at 5:45 PM on February 19, 2013


I think a fistfight almost broke out among people arguing about exactly what Étant donnés was meant to convey.

I think that was exactly what it was meant to convey.

I particularly enjoyed browsing through the sales ledger from the show. The big Duchamp sale is on page 7 (I can't get a direct link to work). It was sold on March 4, a couple of weeks into the show. Torrey also bought this piece of crap on Feb 22. I hope that was a purchase for resale in Torrey's gallery, and not for his personal collection.

The buyers on that list is just amazing. Stieglitz, Barnes, Arensberg, institutions like the Metropolitan Museum and RISD, etc. The name Miss Bliss comes up repeatedly. Lillie Bliss was one of the founders of MOMA. George Dupont Pratt also appears in the ledger, he was a patron of the Metropolitan.

On the last page of the book is a list of numbers, presumably sales figures. The grand total: $5868.75 ($134,272 adjusted for inflation).
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:38 PM on February 19, 2013


I found Nude descending a staircase a lot more impressive in person than the photographs conveyed.

As we say here in Japan... "atarimae"! ("It's a given")
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:36 PM on February 19, 2013


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