The Hundred-Year-Old Modern Art Show That Changed Everything

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Sailboat" by Georges Seurat

Next week marks the 100th anniversary of the 1913 "International Exhibition of Modern Art," better known as the Armory Show — the art show that changed everything. The Armory Show was the first large exhibition of modern art in America. It was also the first time many New Yorkers found themselves face-to-face with the work of artists like Duchamp, Seurat, Picasso, Matisse, Toulouse-Latutrec, Gaugin, Rodin and many others.

On the show's 50th anniversary in 1963, historian Milton Brown called it "probably the most important exhibition" to ever take place in this country.  An additional 50 years have only furthered to deepen that assessment. James Panero, editor of The New Criterion, explains what lessons we should take from the show. Barbara Haskell, pre-war curator at the Whitney Museum, shares how the museum today continues to be influenced by this exhibition from a hundred years ago.


Barbara Haskell and James Panero

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

Bernard Klevickas

I agree completely with what Dana Gordon writes above. Also the Fountain Art Fair which is much more down to Earth and DIY than the other concurrent Art Fairs will actually have their Fair at the site of the Original Armory Art Fair, the 69th Regiment Armory at 26th Avenue and Lexington, March 8th-10th.

Feb. 16 2013 02:12 AM
Dana Gordon

The Whitney curator, in likening the original and truly radical Armory Show to Whitney biennials, overlooks several big contradictions. I mention but two: One is that the Armory Show was put together by artists, not by a museum. Another is that the Armory Show was a radical departure from the academic norm of the day, whereas the Biennial is anything but. And as for the radio show's host ending with a call for a new Armory Show, there is one right now, of course, at 319 Bedford Ave in Brooklyn. It's the big group show that occurs every winter at Richard Timperio's Sideshow Gallery, a show that has far more in common with the Armory Show than the Whitney Biennial does.

Feb. 14 2013 06:21 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

What would an N.R.A. "Armory" show look like?

Feb. 14 2013 05:13 PM

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