DePaul Art Museum > Exhibitions > For and Against Modern Art: The Armory Show + 100
Henri Matisse, Four Studies of a Nude, ca. 1910. Crayon on wove paper. Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, 22.296
Albert Krehbiel, Untitled (Female Figure), early 20th century. Charcoal on paper. Collection of DePaul University, gift of Rebecca Krehbiel Ryan from the Krehbiel Estate, 2001.7
This exhibition followed by a century the sensational Armory Show, formally known as “The International Exhibition of Modern Art.” Organized by a group of American artists and first mounted in an armory in New York, it brought together hundreds of works by contemporary European and American artists, as well as a few earlier examples, to introduce avant-garde art to American audiences. Many works challenged the established academic tradition, which was not just an artistic practice but an entire world view. During its three-week run at the Art Institute of Chicago, the show drew an astonishing 189,000 visitors, and in that time the city was virtually obsessed by new ways of seeing: curious visitors lined up for lectures about modern art, newspaper editorials bemoaned its moral effect, and Cubism became a running joke. To explore that history, this exhibition featured academic works that represented conventional taste; then, like the Armory Show itself, it concentrated on American and European artists who shared in what the organizers termed the “New Spirit;” new subject matter, new freedom from formal constraints, new social attitudes.
This exhibition is funded in part by a grant from The Terra Foundation for American Art.