Forces for the new: Collectors and the 1913 Armory Show

  1 Milton W. Brown, The Story of the Armory Show, 2nd ed. (Abbe­ville Press, New York, 1988), pp. 48-49. Brown's chronicle has remained the classic account of the exhibition; I have relied on its data on buyers, lenders, exhibitors, and prices in this essay.  2 Judith Zilczer, "The Noble Buyer:" John Quinn, Patron of the Avant-Garde (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1978), p. 19.  3 The exhibition was on view from November 8, 1910 to January 15, 1911.  4 The paintings acquired from Vollard in 1912 after Quinn's visit to Paris were Mme. Cézanne en robe rayée (Portrait of Madame Cezanne) of c. 1877 (Fig. 4); a van Gogh Self-Portrait of 1887 (Fig. 14); and Gauguin's 1902 Promenade au Bord de la Mer (private collection). 5 Rebecca A. Rabinow, "Discovering Modern Art: The Steins' Early Years in Paris, 1903-1907," in The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in association with Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011), pp. 21-23.  6 The best source of information on Bliss is Rona Roob's definitive article, "A Noble Legacy," Art in America, vol. 91 (November 2003), pp. 73-83. Unless otherwise stated, all information on Bliss is drawn from this essay. Roob establishes that Bliss began collecting modern art before the Armory Show, not after it.  7 Zilczer,"The Noble Buyer," p. 27.  8 Ibid., p. 28.  9 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Ways and Means, Tariff Schedules: Hearings Before the Committee of Ways and Means on Schedule N, Sundries, vol. 24-26l, 63rd Congress, 1st session, 1913, 4537-4550, quoted in Zilczer, "The Noble Buyer," p. 29.  10 Paul Kruty, "Arthur Jerome Eddy and His Collection: Prelude and Postscript to the Armory Show," Arts, vol. 61 (February 1987), p. 41. Unless otherwise stated, all information on Eddy is taken from this article.  11 Francis M. Naumann, New York Dada, 1915-23 (Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1994), p. 25. Unless otherwise stated, information on the Arensbergs comes from Naumann's authoritative publication. Walter Arensberg ending up buying four lithographs, one of which he returned.  12 Ibid., p. 156. 13 Ibid., p. 158.  14 Frederic C. Torrey, the original owner of Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, decided to sell the painting in 1919. See Francis M. Naumann, "Frederic C. Torrey and Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase," in West Coast Duchamp, ed. Bonnie Clearwater (Grasfield Press, Miami Beach, Fla., 1991), pp. 10-23, for a full account of Torrey's purchase and sale of the canvas.  15 Walter Pach, Queer Thing, Painting: Forty Years in the World of Art (Harper and Brothers, New York, 1938), pp. 200-201; John Rewald, Cézanne in America: Dealers, Collectors, Artists and Critics, 1891-1921 (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1989), p. 203.  16 Colin B. Bailey, "Henry Clay Frick, Roger Eliot Fry, and Rembrandt's Polish Rider," Frick Collection Members' Magazine,  vol. 2 (Spring/Summer 2002), p. 10.  17 Correspondence in the Frick Collection Archives confirms Frick's interaction with Pach at the Armory Show, and Pach's ledger book, recently donated to the Archives of American Art, records the sale of the still life to Frick.  18 Elizabeth Hutton Turner, "Modernism in France: Part I: Bonnard, Matisse, and the School of Paris," in The Eye of Duncan Phillips: A Collection in the Making, ed. Erika D. Passantino, (Phillips Collection, in association with Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999), p. 185.  19 Entry for July 13, 1912, Duncan Phillips Journal HH, quoted in David W. Scott, "The Evolution of a Critic: Changing Views in the Writings of Duncan Phillips," in The Eye of Duncan Phillips, p. 19.  20 Duncan Phillips, "Sorolla: The Painter of Sunlight," Art and Progress, vol. 4 (December 1912), pp. 791-797, quoted in Scott, "The Evolution of a Critic," p. 12.  21 Scott, "The Evolution of a Critic," p. 13.  22 Ibid., pp. 12-13.  23 Gail Stavitsky, "A.E. Gallatin's Gallery and Museum of Living Art (1927-1943)," American Art, vol. 7 (Spring 1993), p. 49. Before the 1920s Gallatin collected Whistler, Beardsley, Beerbohm, and American impressionists and realists; the character of his collecting was not particularly affected by the Armory Show.  24 Roob, "A Noble Legacy," p. 80. Bliss bequeathed a significant portion of her collection-which at her death contained paintings and works on paper by Cézanne, Daumier, Degas, Gauguin, Redon, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso-to the Museum of Modern Art.  25 Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who subsidized the Armory Show but did not attend it, consolidated her galleries for young artists into the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1930. Both Gallatin and the Arensbergs later gave their collections to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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