Anxious and awestruck, I waited outside Wendell Garrett's office in the spring of 1971. He was the managing editor of The Magazine Antiques and I was a nervous twenty-three-year-old graduate student in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.
Africa feels close in New Orleans. You hear it in the blue notes and polyrhythmic drumming of jazz. You taste it in the okra-laden gumbos and rice dishes of the local cuisine. You see it in a host of traditional arts, from the richly beaded parading costumes of Mardi Gras Indians to the near-ubiquitous "shotgun" house-a form that derives from African models and is perfectly suited to the sultry climate of a Gulf Coast port.
On February 17, 1913, the most important art event ever held in America-the International Exhibition of Modern Art, quickly abbreviated to the "Armory Show" on account of its location in the Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory at Lexington Avenue and Twenty-Fifth Street-opened its doors.
"Honest, shockingly sincere, and unfettered"