Term Paper Resource Guide to Twentieth-Century United States History

By Robert Muccigrosso; Ron Blazek et al. | Go to book overview
on Part 2 ‘‘From New Freedom to World War I,’’ which deals with the Mexican turmoil, among other things.
15.

The Armory Show (1913)
Twentieth-century America responded to new movements in art. One group (known as ‘‘The Eight’’) focused on realistic, everyday scenes, earning the derisive nickname the ‘‘Ashcan School.’’ And in February 1913, a larger group of U.S. artists staged a show at New York’s National Guard Armory, which then toured Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. This huge exhibition of more than a thousand works by American and European artists was a watershed in the history of American art. Although many of the works were traditional, it was the avant-garde works of postimpressionism, cubism, fauvism, and expressionism, including ones by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamps, and Wassily Kandinsky, that astonished and sometimes outraged audiences. The Armory Show represented the first truly major exhibit of modern art in the United States.
Suggestions for Term Papers
1. How did the Armory Show influence American cultural tastes?
2. Discuss the influence of the Ashcan painters on American art.
3. What was the general reaction of critics and the public to the Armory Show?
4. What was ‘‘modern’’ about modern art?
5. Discuss the career of a prominent American artist active at the time of the Armory Show.

GENERAL SOURCES

American Art: From the Limners to the Eight. Ashland, KY: Ashland Oil, 1976. Catalog of an exhibition held at Huntington Galleries (West Virginia) from February to May 1976.

Leeds, Valerie A. The Independents: The Ashcan School and Their Circle from

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