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"
Today Louis Comfort Tiffany is widely recognized as America's leading designer of the decades around 1900, but during his lifetime he was best known primarily as a designer of religious art, particularly memorial windows. They were installed by the thousands-mostly in Protestant churches and cemetery mausoleums-and formed the bulk of his business over four decades. An exhibition now on view at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City is refocusing our attention on this aspect of Tiffany's artistic output.