Independent Scholar and Curator Laurette McCarthy will speak at Herron School of Art and Design on March 27 at 6:00 p.m. in the Basile Auditorium about her new book and The International Exhibition of Modern Art—also referred to the Armory Show.
Although it happened in 1913—ancient history for people absorbed in the here and now—this colossal granddaddy of an exhibition awakened America to new ways of seeing. Housed in New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory, which still stands on Lexington Avenue, the works in the Armory Show set the town on its ear.
All manner of experimental art—postimpressionism, fauvism, cubism, even a couple nonobjective paintings—was presented to a public steeped in realism. The Armory Show works were so edgy that even decades later, Hitler would seek to purge these “degenerate” treasures from the earth as a part of his horrific master plan.
Cézanne. Duchamp. Matisse. Hopper. With hundreds upon hundreds of works by more than 300 European and American artists, the Amory Show was the first exhibition of its kind in America, and it traveled from New York to Chicago and Boston.
A century hence, Laurette McCarthy has written Walter Pach (1883- 1958): The Armory Show and the Untold Story of Modern Art in America. She focuses on Pach as “one of the prime movers behind this seminal event,” about whom “surprisingly little has been written.”
Academics hail McCarthy’s book as a “meticulously documented biography” and “an important contribution to the history of American modernism.” It’s also a juicy backstory—one you’ll want to hear presented in person by the author.