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95 Years Ago Today – The 1913 Armory Show

1913 Armory Show Poster - The Most Important Show in Modern Art HistoryLauded as one of the most influential events in the history of American art, the Armory Show has a mythic legacy that rivals the raucous opening of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, The Rite of Spring in Paris. In the wake of previous large independent art exhibitions in France, Germany, Italy, and England, from February 17th to March 15th, 1913, New York’s 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th streets was home to approximately 1250 paintings, sculptures, and decorative works by over 300 European and American artists. While the purchase of C├ęzanne’s Hill of the Poor by the Metropolitan Museum of Art signaled an integration of modernism into official art channels, the shock and outrage proported from Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Staircase and Matisse’s Luxury connected the Armory Show, officially known as The International Exhibition of Modern Art, with an historic avant-garde whose duty was to question the boundaries of art as an institution.

Shelly Staples, University of Virginia, 2001

[ click here to view the 1913 Armory Show as reproduced by Shelley Staples for the American Studies Program at the University of Virginia ]

Posted on February 17, 2008 by Editor

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