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"291" and cultural criticism : to see through closed eyes Daniels, Marilyn Christine Johanne 1987-12-31

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"291" AND CULTURAL CRITICISM: TO SEE THROUGH CLOSED EYES By MARILYN CHRISTINE JOHANNE DANIELS B.A. Hons., McMaster University, 1976 2nd B.A. Hons., McMaster University, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Fine Arts) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1987 _) Marilyn Christine Johanne Daniels, 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date Q ctO for iSi H87 --6 (3/81) i i Abstract Alfred Stieglitz and the members of '291' are most often remembered in the art historical literature for introducing modernism into America through the work of European artists and through the integration of current European formal experiments into the work of American artists. While some authors have referred to the fact that this modernism, as presented by 291, was intended to critique society, any analysis of that critique is conspicuously missing. Also absent is an analysis of what one contemporary critic referred to as the "queer symbolism lurking at the Post-Impressionist hypothesis." In this thesis the following questions are asked: what was 291's critique and why did they insist upon the expression of the 'irrational' states of the psyche— passion, intuition and imagination, in their art. By situating 291 within its particular set of contexts I attempt to explain what their position represented— to the members themselves and to their rivals. iii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iiList of Illustrations v Acknowledgement vi Introduction 1 Notes 14 Chapter One The Progressive Era as Turning Point 17 Conflicting Re-definitions of Direction 23 Art as Upholding the Past in the Present: The Great Masters Collections, American Impressionism and the 'Eight' 27 Notes 38 Chapter Two- '291': 1908-1910 • Pamela Colman Smith and 291's Symbolist Roots 42 The First European Exhibitions: "Memoranda of the Gutter and Brothel" 46 John Marin and Marsden Hartley and the Search Beyond the Present 52 Notes 60 Chapter Three- '291': 1911-1913 John Marin, Abraham Walkowitz and Modernity 63 Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and the Break with Representation 70 The Bankrupt Intellect 73 Notes 9 Conclusion 81 83 Bibliography ... 94 Illustrations V List of Illustrations Fig.l- Robert Reid. The Violet Kimono, c.1910:.... 94 Fig.2- Pamela Colman Smith. The Wave, 1903 . 95 Fig.3- Auguste Rodin. Kneeling Girl- Drawing No.6 96 Fig.4- Henri Matisse. Nude, c.1907. 97 Fig.5- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Woman in Corset-Conquest of Passage, 1896. 98 Fig.6- Alfred H. Maurer. Woman with Hat, 1907 99 Fig.7- John Marin. Mills and Bridge, Meaux, 1907 100 Fig.8- Marsden Hartley. Cosmos, 1908-9. 101 Fig.9- Marsden Hartley. The Dark Mountain, 1909. 102 Fig.10- John Marin. From the Window of 291 Looking Down Fifth Avenue, 1912. 103 Fig.11- John Marin. Movement, Fifth Avenue, 1912 104 Fig.12- Abraham Walkowitz. Scene in the Park, n.d. .......105 Fig.13- John Sloan. The Picnic Grounds, 1906-7 106 Fig.14- Arthur Dove. Nature Symbolized No.2 107 (Wind on a Hillside), 1911/12 Fig.15- Marsden Hartley. Painting No.l, 1913 108 vi Acknowledgement I would first like to acknowledge the profound impact which working with my supervisors, Dr. Serge Guilbaut and Dr. David Solkin, and their students has had upon the development of my understanding of social and political processes. Secondly, I would like to thank those friends who, each in their own way, helped me throughout the process of producing this thesis. I would like to thank Meg Houk for helping me to understand the process of learning and Marion Yas and Malcolm Kennard for, among other things, helping me to understand the process of creativity. I would also like to thank Marnie Fleming for providing a needed connection with the past while I was writing this in London, Ontario. My greatest intellectual debts in the actual production of this thesis are owed to Michael Kuiack, for sharing his knowledge of the Progressive Era, and to Yule Heibel who has, in many ways, helped me "to see through open eyes'. I would also like to thank Patricia Baron and Alexis Bawagan for their kindness in the last jet-lagged days of this work's completion. Above all others is one person who deserves acknowledgement: Rana Sodhi. I would like to thank him simply for being who he is and for sharing that with me. It is to him that I would like to dedicate this work. 1 INTRODUCTION The first decade of this century was an important one in the development of American art. At that time New York, the most modern commercial city in America, began to develop an art scene that would later challenge Paris as the dominant art center of the world. Until the first decade, however, America was a place in which very little art activity could be found. In the late years of the nineteenth century artists who wished to gain recognition, such as James McNeil Whistler and Mary Cassatt, were often faced with the prospect of expatriation. Most Americans had little interest or understanding of art, a condition not unrelated to the state of art criticism. Until approximately 1908 newspapers did not carry regular art columns, nor did they employ art critics to write what little coverage the newspapers did give to art. The number of commercial and public galleries was relatively small and the National Academy of Arts exhibitions remained the predominant force in the establishment of artists' reputations. In November of 1905 a small gallery opened at 291 5th Avenue in New York. This gallery would radically challenge both the Academy and the lethargy of the American art scene. The "Little Galleries of the.Photo-Secession", as it was 2 originally known, was first established in order to exhibit photography of high quality and to win public recognition of photography as a fine art. The founders of the gallery, Alfred Stieglitz and Eduard Steichen, borrowed the gallery's name from the German and Austrian Secessionists. While the term carried the connotations of the European symbolists it carried another connotation, one of which the two men were not unaware. "The idea of Secession is hateful to the Americans", Stieglitz said, "They'll be thinking of the 2 Civil War". If the idea of secessionism was hateful to Americans there was nonetheless great public interest and 3 support for the gallery's photo-exhibitions. However as the gallery, also known simply as "291", turned to the exhibition of non-photographic art in 1907 the support of the public turned variously into amusement, bewilderment, and often anger. While Stieglitz and Steichen may never have intended to declare civil war, it was between 1908 and 1913 that the term 'secession' was to prove apt. 291 is best remembered in the art historical literature for two things; it was here that the work of Rodin, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rousseau, Cezanne and Picasso were first exhibited to an American public. It was also here that young American artists, influenced by the new European styles, were encouraged and given an opportunity to exhibit their work. As William Innes Homer has observed, 291 was the only gallery in America to be "continuously devoted to 3 4 the advancement of modern art prior to the Armory Show." However it was also the only place in New York, prior to 1913, where artists and intellectuals could retain a small part of the vitality of the Parisian art world. Stieglitz and Steichen remained at the core of 291 until the outbreak of the First World War when Steichen 5 withdrew his support. The roles which the two men played were very different. Steichen remained, for the most part, in Paris where he was in close touch with most of the major figures within the art world. It was he who arranged to send most of the shows of the Europeans as well as putting Stieglitz in touch with several promising young American artists currently in Paris and working along the lines of the European avant-garde. ' Stieglitz remained the key ideological force within the small but closely knit group which gathered at the gallery. He delighted in provoking discussions and arguments with the gallery's visitors and attempted to inform the press of the significance of the works shown there. He also kept firm editorial control over the contents of Camera Work, a journal published by 291. Closest to this central core of 291 was a small group of people: associates Paul Haviland, Marius de Zayas and Agnes Ernst Meyer; critics Charles Caffin, Sadakichi Hartmann and Benjamin de Casseres; and artists John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Abraham Walkowitz and Arthur Dove. The 4 group which clustered around 291 was a relatively diverse one. They did, however, hold certain qualities in common. The group contained a large proportion of recent immigrants. Steichen was born in Luxembourg. Paul Haviland, born in Paris, was in New York as representative of his father's Limoges crystal company. Marius de Zayas had recented moved to New York from Veracruz in order to escape the political climate of the Diaz dictatorship. Agnes Ernst Meyer, an American, acted as a key source of financial support for the gallery through the considerable fortune of her husband, a German of Jewish background. Of the critics who wrote for Camera Work, Charles Caffin was from England and Sadakichi Hartmann was the son of a German merchant and a Japanese mother. Stieglitz was also American by birth however having grown up in a German Jewish household, attending a French school and spending nine years of schooling in Germany as a 7 youth, he felt himself to be between cultures. Unlike 291's associates the artists Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and John Marin were all Americans by birth. The most noteable exception was Abraham Walkowitz, a Russian Jew, who came to New York as a child. While most of the 291 artists were Americans, each of them spent time in Europe where they were influenced by the intellectual and artistic trends there. It was not unusual for an American artist to train in Europe, however most received their training in the Parisian academies. While 5 the initial training of the 291 artists was for the most part traditional, and while many spent their first months in Q Paris studying at an academy, each eventually searched for an alternative aesthetic to that of the academic. The 291 artists, critics and associates were unanimous in their view of the importance of the new intellectual and artistic trends in Europe. Each of them spent a significant amount of time there, and particularly in Paris, where they became familiar with the city's key artists and intellectuals During the years prior to the Armory Show, held in the spring of 1913, 291's extensive connections in Europe included Maurice Maeterlinck, Guillaume Apollinaire, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Robert and Mme Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc and Francis Picabia. Thus the key elements which the members of 291 held in common were their internationalist backgrounds and their interest in the artistic and intellectual trends current in Europe. In Camera Work the group compared the backwardness of the American art scene to the vitality and growth which they had experienced in Paris. They complained about the American public's lack of understanding of art, the poor level of press criticism and the fact that what little artistic activity which America did possess was confined to 6 a few Eastern cities. European culture, on the other hand, was seen as a full generation ahead of American. The European public, they observed, had closer contact with new art and were more enthusiastic. As one member said: The new art movement of Europe has once more established the standard of the day. It is up to g the American also to give his art of the living day. Academic art, virtually the only form of art in America at that time, was referred to as a dead art; the collectors, auctioneers, dealer and critics who supported it, they said, acted as embalmers and undertakers of culture.^ Throughout Camera Work it is evident that 291 was defined primarily, by those who were part of its inner circle, through its sense of being apart from the life and atmosphere around them. Those associated with the group liked to compare it to an oasis or an island of refuge. Paul Haviland described the experience one felt upon entering "The Little Galleries": Perhaps, the first time you went up the narrow elevator which took inquirers to the top floor and entered the room to your right, the director, the leading spirit, would be found in conversation with some friends or visitors. The minute you gazed into the rooms so fittingly designed, you seem to breathe a different atmosphere. The quiet, neutral tone of the walls and of the woodwork; the softly diffused light; the happy spacing and proportions of the rooms and their furnish ings; the color note of the autumn foliage in the big brass bowl in the centre of the farther room; all combined to give you from the outset a feeling of harmony, balance and repose. You insensibly relaxed.... Conversation warmed up...For half an hour, or an hour, or two hours you forgot all about New York, the rush of the subway and the struggle after the almighty dollar; and when you go back into the street, 7 into the turmoil of everyday life, you felt that you had discovered an oasis, seemingly thousands of miles from the scorching struggle for life, where at your pleasure you could stop and refresh yourself in the peaceful enjoyment of the beauty of life; a quiet nook in a city of conflict, where you breathed^ an atmosphere of mutual helpfulness and understanding. As Haviland indicates, the entire atmosphere of the gallery, its design and the tone of the conversation which took place there were felt to be different from that of the world outside its doors. In place of the rush, struggle, turmoil and conflict of New York one encountered a feeling of harmony, balance, repose, peace and beauty. Here one engaged in relationships of mutual helpfulness and understanding. The fact of the actual frequent conflicts between Stieglitz, a man who by all accounts was often • 12 difficult and domineering, and the other close associates of 291 stands as a reminder of the ideological nature of the above self-description. Nevertheless it suggests the way in which the group saw itself as being different from the outside world, for the commercial world was indeed perceived as being "outside". The primary cause of the disturbing quality of life was attributed to, as Haviland's description suggests, the "struggle for the almighty dollar". 291 perceived New Yorkers as caught in the grips of a "mad money frenzy", a 13 "senseless material orgy". In "Physiognomy of the New Yorker" Benjamin De Casseres described New York as a place . . 14 of frenzy, barter, power and servility. Articles were 8 written which described the dilemma of the virtuous artist in such an environment. One such fictitious hero lived without regard for money, without concern for the rent-existing only to produce art according to his own moral standards and beliefs. When faced with the reality of his indebtedness to a friend for his living expenses, he was confronted with the necessity of selling his art. Equating this act with the selling of one's children, the artist saw 15 no alternative but to end his life. Romantic and overly sentimental as it is, the story clearly illustrates the sense of alienation the group felt from the mainstream of society. If the search for the dollar forced the individual to forfeit his or her integrity and individuality, 291 wanted to distance itself from the process. Accordingly Stieglitz operated the gallery and the journal largely from his own funds, charging'the artists neither commission for sales nor exhibition costs. The "special drawing card" offered by 291, therefore, was the "free spirit" which permeated it, a spirit which afforded "relief from the 16 stiflingly laden commercial atmosphere of New York". Connected with this idea of 291 being above and apart from the commercial orientation of New York is the idea that they, as a cultural elite— one possessing "individuality", stood apart from the masses. They make it clear that the "masses", to them, included not only the working population Of New York: 9 To the masses belong millionaires as well as laborers, washerwomen as well as slim aristocratic girls. Crucial in the definition of their own difference, their individuality, was the importance of original thought. Sadakichi Hartmann, in the October 1910 issue of Camera Work, defined as absolutely free that "original thinker who speculates solely on the basis of personal observation and 18 deduction therefrom". Such an approach was opposed to the traits predominant in New Yorkers— traits which De Casseres characterized as stupidity, vulgarity, respectability, indifference, conformity, hypocrisy and 19 . mediocrity. The members of 291, seeing themselves as a cultural aristocracy, believed that they possessed a "superior sensibility", one which enabled them not only to understand art but also life. In July of 1909 Camera Work published Oscar Wilde's definition of a dreamer, a definition with which they clearly identified. Wilde wrote: A Dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight and his punishment2gS that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. In seeing themselves in this way-- original thinkers who could see what the rest of the world could not yet see— they believed it to be their duty to "fight against the stream" in order to bring about change. Thus the group often referred to itself with terms which suggest battle; drawing upon the notion of the avant-garde they were a "garret" or a division within an army. 10 [The Secession] finds itself one division of a desperate but not dispicable army. For the Secession, although independent in its inception and individual in its development, although locally isolated and at odds with its immediate environment, neither stands alone today nor is out of touch with its times. There are other secessions, some of them all but unconscious of their enlistment. Pictorial art is^but one of the least of their fields of battle... The elements of 29l's self-definition were, then, a cultural aristocracy, capable of seeing what most of the rest of the world could not, locally isolated and at odds with its environment, drawing upon artistic forms and ideas which are European in origin. In their "fight against the stream" their prime weapon was their art, an art which was indebted to the current non-academic styles of Europe. It was clear that they believed in the potency of that weapon. In Camera Work (1911) J.B.Kerfoot, in explaining the significance of the gallery's symbol, a golden disk, summarized the role which they had chosen. He wrote: In our sunwhirl there is one planet which has a moon which is turning the other way. And if it be strong enough, and last long enough, sooner or later the whole mighty Wheel of Light will return and follow that one little moon. The Golden Dis,}£ of the Secession is the symbol of that satellite. The work of any researcher attempting to understand the role 291 played during the years 1907-13 will be fraught with difficulties. Most of the current literature is in the form of artist's monographs. Such a format, covering the entire oeuvre of the artist, typically treats the years 11 between 1907 and 1913 in an extremely brief and superficial manner. An exception to this generality is Sheldon Reich's 23 two volume work on John Marin, a work which painstakingly follows Marin's stylistic development throughout his entire career. The histories of other artists are much less complete; basic questions of dating and sequence of works are still unsolved, particularly in the case of Abraham Walkowitz. Only one study has attempted to examine the 291 group 24 as a whole. Investigating 291 from its inception in 25 1905 to its closure in 1917 William Innes Homer, in 1977 laid the groundwork without which further investigations would be impossible. Despite his contribution Homer made no attempt to situate 291 within its complex of artistic, social and political contexts. Partial attempts of this kind have been attempted by Ileana Leavens and Edward 2 6 Abrahams. Leavens, who refers to 291 as "proto-Dadaist" devotes her book to the attempt to prove, on the basis of flimsy evidence and superficial similarities, that there "could have been" mutual influences between Arp and Ball and the 291 group. Abrahams considers Stieglitz a "culture radical", a term normally used to describe a group from Greenwich Village with, as we shall see, very different aims. Curiously Stieglitz is more or less removed from the context of 291 for the purpose of Abraham's study. Nevertheless the author does attempt to situate his subjects 12 within their own historical context- with often fruitful, if 27 sometimes probematic results. While the underlying assumption in Leavens and Abrahams works is that Stieglitz and 291 were, through their art and their journal, making a critique of American society, the question of just exactly that critique was, and how it functioned, is never addressed in any depth. Any mention of critique in Homer's work is conspicuously missing. However something else is conspicuously missing in the literature on 291. In their attempt to heroize the arrival of modernism to America historians have overlooked the peculiar nature of that modernism, a nature which was evident to at least one critic writing in New York in 1913. Royal Cortissoz, a conservative critic, wrote in April 1913 issue of The Century Magazine of "the queer symbolism lurking at the bottom of the Post-Impressionist hypothesis".^ In this thesis 291 will be considered as a whole, consisting of individuals with sometimes differing perspectives but individuals whose common interests and goals brought them together to work as a unit. As a group they held and developed a particular ideology which was expressed through their art and their writing. This ideology was, I will argue, a counter-ideology— one intended to challenge the belief systems of other groups in New York. Thus the fact and nature of 291's critique will 13 figure as the central issue of this thesis. However, as I will argue, key to understanding that critique is an examination of the "queer symbolism" behind 291's modernism— why it insisted upon the importance of expressing the 'irrational' states of emotion, intuition and imagination in its art. By situating 29l's critique within its particular set of contexts I hope to be able to explain what their position represented, to the members themselves and to their rivals. The works exhibited at 291 represented, I shall argue, a changing strategy of opposition, but one which ultimately blended elements of European avant-garde theory with specifically American concerns. Ultimately I hope to make clear the position that 291 held within New York. 14 NOTES For an account of the state of art criticism in New York at the turn of the century see Arlene R. Olsen, Art  Critics and the Avant-Garde New York, 1900-1913 (New York: U.M.I. Press, 1980). 2 Alfred Stieglitz, 1902, reported in Edward Abrahams, "The Lyrical Left: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in America, 1900- World War I" (Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University, 1981), p.158. 3 From May 1906 to April 1907 the gallery received 197 requests for loan of their circulating photo exhibition. (See "Photo-Secession Notes," Camera Work 18 (April 1907): 49. 4 .  . William Innes Homer, "Stieglitz and 291," Art in America 61 (July-August 1973): 51. 5 The reasons for this appear to have been, at least partly, due to the differing political loyalties of the members: Steichen supported France whereas Stieglitz sided with Germany. It seems, on the basis of reports later made by 291 members, that it was necessary that Stieglitz's colleagues accept his position of dominance— sometimes described as patriarchal and dictatorial-- as a condition of their association with the group. Those who did not, such as Max Weber, simply left. For information on that split see Percy North's "Turmoil at 291," Archives of American Art Journal 24:1: 12-20. 7 Paul Haviland and his brother Frank Burty, possessing considerable connections within the Parisian art world, were responsible for initiating 291's association with Picasso. Haviland became very close to Stieglitz during his time in New York and served for several years as the associate editor of Camera Work. Marius de Zayas* family owned two newspapers in Mexico and his father had been that country's poet laureate. Once in New York de Zayas produced caricatures for the city's newspapers. Agnes Ernst Meyer first came into contact with 291 as a newspaper reporter for the New York Sun. For more information regarding Ernst see her autobiography Out of These Roots (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1953). Her husband, a financial speculator and later owner of the Washington Post, was a major source of support for the gallery. His 15 biography is contained in Merlo J. Pusey1s Eugene Meyer (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974). p Marin attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (1898-99), the Art Students' League (1902-3) and for two months took classes at the Academie Julian (1905). Dove took art classes at Cornell University only. Hartley attended the Cleveland School of Art (1898-99), the Art Students' League and the New York School of Art (1899) and the National Academy of Design (1900). Walkowitz took classes at the National Academy of Design, probably at the Art Student's League and also attended the Academie Julian (1906). 9 Oscar Bluemner, "Audiator et altera pars: Some Plain Sense on the Modern Art Movement," CW Special Number (June 1913): 38. *^Ibid•i P• 28. nPaul -B. Haviland, "The Home of the Golden Disk," CW 25 (January 1909): 21-22. 12 ... Sadakichi Hartmann wrote the following to Stieglitz: I got tired of your dictatorship. For years you imposed upon me, and as I never resented it , your attitude towards me grew worse from year to year, until I could stand it no longer. Waldo Frank, another close friend, wrote a similar letter to Stieglitz on July 31, 1923: I feel that you are incapable of a relationship of equality with anyone. You demand in some way, the 'other person' accept your ascendency before you function in serving him... This is why you have had a 'series' of friends... And that is why the friends who remained... have been of the type which one could justly term fixated adolescents... These associates, true disciples, have lived to almost perfect extent in an atmosphere of your determining. Both letters are to be found in the Alfred Stieglitz archives and were quoted in Abrahams, "The Lyrical Left," p. 243. 13 . Benjamin de Casseres, "Caricature and New York," CW 26 (April 1909):17-18. Benjamin de Casseres, "Physiognomy of a New Yorker," CW 29 (January 1910): 35. 16 15Charles H. Caffin, "An Impossible Case," CW 21 (January 1908): 27-29. "Report on the Member's Exhibition," CW 21 (January 1908): 45. 17 S[adakichi] H[artmann], "That Toulouse-Lautrec Print," CW 29 (January 1910): 38. 18 Sadakichi Hartmann, "Puritanism, Its Grandeur and Shame," CW 32 (October 1910): 17. 19 Benjamin de Casseres, "American Indifference," CW 27 (July 1909):24-25. 20 . . Oscar Wilde, "From 'The Critic as Artist1," CW 27 (July 1909): 46. 21J.B.Kerfoot, "The Phenix [sic] in the Embers," CW 25 (January 1909): 49-50. 22J.B.Kerfoot, "The Game at the Little Galleries," CW 33 (January 1911): 45. 23 Sheldon Reich, John Marin: A Stylistic Analysis and  Catalogue Raisonne (Tuscan, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1970). 24 The years following the Armory Show have been discussed in Judith Katy Zilczer's "The Aesthetic Struggle in America, 1913-18: Abstract Art and Theory in the Stieglitz Circle" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Delaware, 1975). 25 .  . William Innes Homer, Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Garde (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1977) . See Ileana B.~ Leavens, From "291" to Zurich: The  Birth of Dada (Ann Arbor, Michigan: U.M.I. Research Press, 1983) and Abrahams, "The Lyrical Left". 27 ..He is, for example, at times historically unspecif ic. 28 Royal Cortissoz, "The Post-Impressionist Illusion" The Century Magazine LXXXV (April 1913): 807. Cortissoz was writing this article amidst the great furor caused by the Armory Show. At this exhibition were included works by the artists of 291 and the European modernists. While Cortissoz appears to be referring to the movement as a whole it must be remembered that the framework for interpreting modernism, then often referred to simply as "Post-Impressionism" derived primarily from 291. 17 CHAPTER ONE One is conscious of unrest and seeking— a weird world hunger for something we evidently haven't got and don't understand. To many it is a social and economic problem— But this is only one of the elements of it— A bigger thing lies struggling beneath— I have a vague feeling of knowing it and yet it loses itself in its vagueness. Something is being born or is going to be. (Eduard Steichen to Alfred Stieglitz, 1913) It is as if a new sun by its powerful energies had dried up and burned to ashes all that had lost its life and at the same time were forcing into life new culture. (Oscar Bluemner, Camera Work, 1913) We are in the presence of a new organization of society. Our life has broken away from the past. The life of America is not the life that it was twenty years ago; it is not the life that it was ten years ago. We have changed our economic conditions, absolutely, from top to bottom; and, with our economic society, the organisation of our life. (Woodrow Wilson, 1913) There is one theme which runs throughout many of the historical accounts of the Progressive Era: that of the turning point. There was no time during which Americans felt the sharp division between the past and the present more profoundly than in the Progressive Era, the years between 1903 and 1917. Many contemporaries spoke of one world coming to an end and another in the making. Others spoke of the problem of dealing with laws and social conventions which were no longer applicable to the changed social and political conditions. 18 The Progressive Era was a time during which the majority of the population, rural and urban, perceived national life to be at a crisis point. That point had been reached partly as a result of the growth of industrialization; however the move towards urbanization and modernization had proceeded relatively smoothly. It was not until the late 1890's, when the corporate economy began to take firm hold, that the fact that the old way of life was changing came into sharp focus. Between 1893 and 1898 a severe depression had produced conditions under which a few of the larger organizations began to eliminate their weaker competitors through consolidation and centralization. Motivated by a drive for increased efficiency and enlarged profits industrialists argued that a laissez-faire economy was unable to cope with the problems of mature industrialization. Between 1898 and 1904 the size and number of corporations increased dramatically; of the 318 corporations in existence by January of 1904, 234 of them 4 had come into being within the past six years. These corporations were giant in scope and commanded enormous economic power. About 300 of the giants were capitalized at nearly $6 billion. A mere 29 of them, however, accounted for 40% of the total. The centralization was even more dramatically apparent when measured in terms of individual wealth. The richest 1% of the population owned 50% of the nation's wealth,^and 90% of it was held by a mere 12% of the people. Through consolidation and centralization such companies as 19 the United States Steel Corporation, Standard Oil Steel Company, the American Tobacco Company, International Harvester Company, Consolidated Tobacco and Amalgamated Copper gained effective control over the market. Such power was previously unknown. Centralization of control, a new phenomenon, fell into the hands of a new class, that of the corporate elite or the so-called 'robber barons'. While there were several financial empires, those of Nelson Rockefeller and J.P.Morgan were the most powerful. Despite their wealth these members of the 'mushroom aristocracy', as they were also known, could not take their power or the stability of the newly created corporate system for granted. The system had many flaws, many problems not yet worked out. At times, such as the stock market panics of 1901 and 1907, it appeared that the whole system was in danger of collapse. In addition, competition remained fierce between the industrialists as they attempted to extend their holdings at the expense of their rivals. One of the industrialists' biggest threats came from the growing power of the left. In 1912 socialist candidates gained unprecedented support at the polls, winning 1,200 offices in 340 cities. Support for the Socialist presidential candidate, Eugene Debs, had grown tenfold from 7 what it had been ten years previously. The radical wing of the Socialist party, the anarchist Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) also reached a peak in its union 20 membership, largely through the victory it had attained that year in the strike of 20,000 textile workers at Lawrence, g Massachusetts. Based on these successes, and the inspiration of the Mexican revolution the year before, the left was filled with tremendous energy and optimism that a mass revolutionary movement was underway. Reformers, anarchists, feminists, writers from all over America converged upon the decaying nineteenth century district of Greenwich Village. Central to this scene were Socialists Max Eastman, John Reed and Floyd Dell; anarchists Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman and I.W.W. leader Bill 9 Haywood. Convinced of the tremendous potential for support among a growing number of discontented Americans these people concentrated upon means of educating the public as to the need for radical structural change. The socialists and anarchists sometimes worked together, producing in 1913 a pageant at Madison Square Gardens which enacted the violent Paterson silk workers' strike.10 For the most part, however, the two groups, having different aims, worked separately: the Socialists at improving their showing at the polls and the Anarchists concentrating upon organizing the workers during industrial disputes, organizing marches of the unemployed and occasionally industrial sabotage.1''' Fearing that they would be crushed between organized capital and a quickly growing labour movement the middle class became increasingly involved in organizing for 21 political reform. Prior to the corporate mergers of the 1890's small businessmen and professionals had represented the ruling class. With the transformation of society from a local, community-based economy to a nationally oriented corporate organization the old distribution of power and prestige passed from the hands of this class to the new corporate elite. While the bourgeoisie was not growing poorer as a class, their wealth and decision-making capacities were increasingly overshadowed by the new millionaires. It was this group which lead the reform movement known as Progressivism, a movement which became nationwide in support. Why the strong reform sentiment of Progressivism took hold when it did is still a matter of conjecture among historians. It is clear that prior to 1901 the dislocation caused by modernization caused a great deal of discontent but that discontent remained diffuse. By the beginning of the Progressive Era a new form of journalism known as muckraking helped to focus that discontent by drawing attention to the many problematic aspects of American life. Journalists such as Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell, Charles Edward Russell and Thomas Lawson investigated several American cities, revealing widespread bribery, corruption and privilege in business, politics and the police. Virtually every aspect of American life, from child labor to 22 unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industry, was described in detail. No part of life seemed untouched by graft, corruption and privilege. However the articles in magazines such as McClures, Colliers and Cosmopolitan presented the situation neither as one to be accepted passively nor to be addressed through several structural change. They appealed to each and every member of society to take responsibility for the situation and to help in the movement to reform. While a myriad of problems were tackled by Progressives, the key issue addressed by liberal intellectuals during the years 1907 to 1913, was what to do with the trusts. In the election of 1912 the platforms of presidential candidates Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were virtually identical. They differed, however, in this one key issue. Wilson, with the support of Louis D. Brandeis, represented the fears of much of the old middle class when he presented "The New Freedom". To Wilson the trusts were dangerous because they had eliminated free competition. Adherents to this position, while not advocating the dismantling the new industrialists' power, supported the revival of elements of the laissez-faire system; they opposed centralized government and stood in favour of the preservation of local authority and the restoration and regulation of competition. Roosevelt, with the help of Herbert Croly, represented the opposing 23 viewpoint, "New Nationalism", which held that the attempt to restore the economic conditions of the past was naive and nostalgic. Furthermore, they argued, the present abuses were the natural outgrowth of the former system. They argued in favor of a neutral, centralized government which could effectively match and limit the power of the corporate system. As Christopher Lasch has pointed out in his review of Croly's The Promise of American Life (1909) the central flaw in this viewpoint, which eventually won acceptance as the "new liberalism", was its failure to "deal coherently with the question of how centralized power is to be controlled", that is, how to "strengthen the state without merely strengthening the corporate interests which enjoy the 12 easiest access to it." There were, therefore, various responses to the conditions which presented themselves during the Progressive Era. The new corporate elite attempted to protect and extend its holdings while finding a way to stabilize the economy. The left, optimistic of their own future, contentrated upon capitalizing on the public's discontent through education and grass-roots organizing. Liberal intellectuals attempted to grapple with the problem of what to do with the government and the trusts to make them more responsive to that group's needs. What was common to all of these positions, as diverse as they were, was the conviction that 24 society was at a turning point; social, political and economic structures were in desperate need of shaping. With the exception of the class of newly arrived immigrants, unassimilated and many hoping to earn enough money to return to their native lands with improved economic status, every sector of American society perceived itself as a necessary part of the process of redefinition and reconstruction. Society was in need of shaping and direction and virtually all of its members felt a responsibility to take part in that process. It is within this context that 291's critique of American society must be seen—-as part of a widespread re-evaluation of almost every aspect of American life. In this redefinition of life most groups worked directly upon institutional structures-- extending or challenging the powers of government, changing laws, revealing dangerous or unfair labour practices. To such people 291, in focussing its energies solely upon art, seemed to represent a shirking of responsibility. Two of the liberal intellectuals who helped to define Roosevelt's "New Nationalism", convinced that America was an infertile ground for art, had abandonned their original careers in the area. Herbert Croly, who had edited Architectural Record, and Walter Lippmann, who entered Harvard in 1906 with the intention of becoming an art critic, turned to social reform as an attempt to "change the depersonalizing society which they believed had previously thwarted their artistic 25 13 . . impulses." Lippmann, in his book Drift and Mastery (1914) attacked what he called the many-headed hydra of drift: those positions which allowed people to avoid dealing with the problems of a new world. "At the only point where effort and intelligence are needed", he wrote, "that point where today is turning into tomorrow, there these people are 14 not found." While his mam point of attack was the supporters of Wilson and Brandeis1 "New Freedom" Lippmann also addressed the "modern artist", he who lived "in a world of studios, drawing rooms and cafes, amidst idle people in 15 little cliques." The modern artist, he said, was doomed to be "satisfied with a cult". So he specializes on some aspect of form, exaggerates some quality of line, and produces art that only a few people would miss if i-^disappeared. Then he denounces the philistine public. While very different in their goals, it would appear that the left shared in elements of Lippmann's criticism. To Eastman, Reed and Dell, all poets and writers, art and politics could not be mixed. As Eastman later recalled: No, there just wasn't any blending of poetry with revolution. Nobody wrote revolutionary poetry that was any good. What was required, said Eastman, was "serious social thought and effort... the practical scientific work of mind or hand that the revolution demands of every free man in its 18 desperate hour." Eastman later wrote of his years in Greenwich Village. In apparent reference to the group at 291 the hero of his book said: 26 But those futuristic artists most of them haven't any driving force that I can see. None of their art contains either a great passion or a great idea- just painters' ideas and studio feelings, and then that great passion to be an artist. They are not living life, th^y are living art. That's the trouble with them... Recalling one of Mabel Dodge's salons, a meeting place for the radical intellectuals of Greenwich Village, Eastman reported that Bill Haywood, leader of the I.W.W., made similar criticisms in a speech to an audience which included 20 Picabia and 291 artists Marin and Hartley. Haywood first drew his guests' attention to the fact that there was no proletarian art. "Not only is art impossible to such a man," he said, "but life is impossible. He does not live. He just works. He does the work that enables you to enjoy art, and to make it, and to have a nice meeting like this and talk it over.... The only problem, then, is how to make it possible, how to make life possible to the proletariat.... I suppose you will want to know what my ideal of proletarian art is, he continued, what I think it will be like, when a revolution brings it into existence. I think it will be very much kindlier than your art. There will be a social spirit in it. Not so much boasting about personality. Artists won't be so egotistical...When we stop fighting each other- for wages of existence on one side, and for unnecessary luxury on the other- then perhaps we shall all become human beings and surprise ourselves with the beautiful things we do and make on the earth. Then perhaps there will be a civilization and a civilized art. But there is no use putting up pretenses now. Tb,<= important thing is to realize that we are fighting. The underlying assumption of each of these key figures of the period is that art could not be a forum in which social change could occur-- that in chosing to focus their 27 critique through art 291 was, effectively, avoiding the pressing issues of the day. There was one voice, however, which consistently supported 291 in its program and in its goals. The voice was that of Hutchins Hapgood, a close associate of Emma Goldman and closely linked with the Greenwich Village crowd through his association with Mabel Dodge. Hapgood, writing in an article entitled "Art and Unrest" in the New York Globe, equated the new art with "agitation": It means education, in the disturbing, doubting sense. Post-impressionism is as disturbing in one field as the I.W.W. is. in another. It turns up the soil, shakes the old foundations, and leads to new life.... There seems a vague but real relationship between all the real workers of our day. Whether in,literature, plastic art, the labor movement, science, journalism, philosophy, wherever we turn and find something vital in form, we find a common quality- we find an instinct to loosen up the old forms and traditions, to dynamite the baked and hardened earth so that fresh flowers will grow. It is this instinct to turn up the soil, so that through hardened surfaces of lifeless conventionalities the simply human may again nakedly appear, it is this instinct that is creating our interest. One function of the general unrest is the agitation which means education- agitation in art, as well as in labor,22 politics, and the whole field of our social life. Hapgood•s support suggests that 291*s critique should not so quickly be dismissed. Unlike his associates, Reed and Haywood, he could see something in this art which articulated some kind of potent critique. It is clear that the idea that art could not play a 28 role in the restructuring of society was a predominant one. However it is nonetheless true that the major forms of art found in America at the end of the first decade did play a role in upholding particular ideological positions. As we shall see later the art of 291 was intended to call into question each of these ideological constructions. Among the group of collectors known as the "robber barons", the industrialist class, the "Great Masters collections were most common. These collections, typically vast accumulations of works from all periods of western history--but particularly the Renaissance and post-Renaissance period, began to be formed in the 1890's. They were owned by such men as J.Pierpont Morgan, Benjamin Altman (founder of a department store and Stieglitz's landlord), Collis P. Huntington (railway magnate from California), P.A.B.Widener (owner of street cars and meat processing plants in Philadelphia), Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Mellon (both of whom made their vast fortunes in coal and iron) and William Randolph Hearst (newspaper owner). To these men, often of relatively humble social background, these collections represented one pathway to social prestige. W.G.Constable has observed: [T]he most important challenge was to the past. The merchant princes and industrialists of the time formed a class in society analogous to the commercial aristocracy of Venice; and they wanted to demonstrate that American wealth could show cultural achievements that could rival those of Europe, and a great collection was one way of doing this. So the collectors took as their model the collections formed 29 by the kings, princes, nobility and great merchants of Europe, which inevitably involved an eclectic concent ration on masterpieces, these being provided with ancillary collections and^sett ings which conformed to the pattern of the past. However if such collections represented a challenge to the past they also represented its continuity: the tradition of the European aristocracy would be continued in America. In the absence of a tradition of family wealth, the acquisition of the possessions once owned by the powerful rulers of Europe would confer legitimacy to their present power. However while they patterned their collections upon those great collections of the past, the industrialists differed in their refusal to buy contemporary art, both European and American. While some of these collectors, such as J.P.Morgan, were discerning and well-informed in their taste, others bought indiscriminately. W.R. Hearst, whom Constable characterizes not as a collector but "a gigantic and 24 . ' voracious magpie" with a "lust for possession run mad" is such an example. The industrialists, infamous for their "conspicuous consumption" of which their art collections were only one facet, were widely reputed to be vulgar and uncultured in their taste. Benjamin De Casseres wrote in Camera Work: And behold the wealthy patrons of the arts!... They carry their exhausted souls to Europe and buy "art objects," the great money value of which is the only thing they were made to appreciate. While the American artist who has an original note, who has seceded in order to preserve the inviolability of his own artistic genius, rots in his rags in his hole of 30 a studio. These "patrons" (or should we call them padrones?) ransack museums, purchase old palaces, bragging with the brazenness of all vulgarity of the enormous prices they paid for them. They are the Medusas of Indifference, the exposed guts of Respectability. It was largely through the direction of such patrons that whatever institutions existed in America gave their support to the arts. Sir Purdon Clarke's appointment as director of the Metropolitan Museum was, according to an article in Camera Work, based upon the similarity of 2 6 interests which he shared with J.P.Morgan. These interests stopped short at the end of the eighteenth century. The American academy, during the period 1908-13 represented a variety of styles, impossible to define under any one category. That which they held in common was an adherence to some inherited artistic tradition. The first significant trend within the Academy was the classicizing school represented by such artists as Kenyon Cox and Edwin Blashfield. Most closely resembling the paintings of the nineteenth century French academy these artists held art to be a rational procedure based on the correct drawing of the figure. Their themes, which were often represented in public mural works, were intended to be morally edifying and most often based upon history or mythology. A second group, loosely classifiable by the term realists, traced their influences back to Hals, Velasquez and Manet by way of Munich. Their depictions of lower class subjects were of a 31 type thought unsuitable by the more orthodox classicists. Representations deriving from this group were often of a dark tonality and were executed in quick, loose brushwork. A third group have been designated by the term Tonalists. This tendency, represented most clearly by artists such as George Inness, derived from the Barbizon school, Whistler and American luminism. Their subjects were primarily landscapes painted in a dominant tonality. Opposing science, materialism and rationalism this group attempted to infuse their scenes with a sense of the mysterious quality which they felt to be inherent in nature. Closely related to this school was the more romantic or mystical tendency of artists such as Albert Pinkham Ryder and Ralph Blakelock. Of all the styles accepted by the academy American Impressionism was the most popular and had been so since the 1890's. This popularity was largely due to the influence and reputation of Mary Cassatt and to the efforts of Durand-Ruel in exposing the work of the French Impressionists to the American public. American Impressionism, of which a group known as the "Ten" were the most influential, was based upon the French artists' technique. However the extent to which the Americans respected the volume, solidity and contours of form varied from artist to artist. American Impressionism was, in terms of its formal qualities, an amalgam of French Impressionism and French academicism. Unlike the more subjective 32 tendencies of the Tonalists and the Romantics the Impressionists concentrated upon representing selected aspects of the visible world. The subject matter of this work was based upon two themes- landscape and the figure, or occasionally a combination of the two. The landscapes it depicted were quiet rural scenes— fields with villages in the distance, quiet streams running beside barns or farmhouses, the old mill, the snow, bridges and streams, rolling hills, gentle streams, orchards. Only rarely does one come across depictions of the wilderness or uncultivated nature such as mountain scenes or Niagara Falls. The subject matter of these works are overwhelmingly of rural America, with nature depicted as picturesque but domesticated. The associations which these works would have brought up would have been the antithesis of modernity: the nineteenth century rural past. The country represented that which had built the city; it, unlike the city, was seen to be pure and unspoiled. The city, on the other hand, was that which drained the country of its resources, both human and natural. The country also represented escape to those who worked within the city; at the end of the day those who had the means left for it was not thought to be the kind of place where one would chose to live if it could be avoided. Associated with a growing sentimentality regarding the country was the fact that, in the 1890's, the American frontier had disappeared. The fact 33 that there was no longer a seemingly unlimited amount of unexplored land available meant that the safety valve had dissolved. The sanctity of the countryside could no longer be imagined to be protected from the growth of the city. The other major theme of the American Impressionists was that of the figure within a domestic setting. As has frequently been"observed there was an unusually high number of representations of women in the works of this group, particularly when compared to their French prototypes. Women were sometimes depicted by the fields or streams of the countryside but when depicted out of doors they were usually in the garden or yard of their homes. Most scenes took place within quiet domestic interiors. While they are sometimes accompanied by a child or by a female companion they are usually alone. As in Robert Reid's The Violet Kimono (c.1910, fig. 1) the women arrange flowers, pour tea, comb their hair, play solitaire or hold books but their activity is usually inactivity. Their attitude is not one of distress or ennui but reverie. Held within such seemingly timeless scenes they are beautiful objects posed within beautiful, elegant settings. As we shall see these images 27 also recalled the nineteenth century past. The first group to seriously challenge this vision was the "Eight", sometimes referred to as the "Ashcan School". 34 In terms of its formal qualities the group members represented, for the most part, an amalgam of tendencies from within the Academy: the dark, slashing style of the Munich realists (Robert Henri, George Luks and John Sloan), late Impressionism (Ernest Lawson, Everett Shinn, William Glackens), a lyrical poetic style (Arthur Davies) and a more experimental decorative neo-Impressionist style (Maurice Prendergast). The difference in the Eight's art, however, was to with its subject matter; it focused upon 2 8 contemporary, specifically American themes. The paintings of the Eight included scenes never before depicted in American art, most of which involved the urban scene: crowded streets, parks, rooftops and backyards, fashionable restaurants, theatres, wrestling matches, beach scenes, the new five-cent movies and bars. It seems unusual now that such seemingly innocuous locations would first 29 appear in American art at such a late date. As we shall see, however, most of these locations held, until late in the nineteenth century, associations which necessitated their exclusion from the realm of art and, in fact, from polite bourgeois society. The very fact of their depiction signified a loosening of Victorian moral restrictions which accompanied the changing of the social and political order. However the main topic of the Eight was not the settings themselves but the human life which took place within them. This life was just as often working class as it was 35 bourgeois. While the works of the nineteenth century American artists trained in Munich had sometimes included portraits of the working class such depictions were still, in the first decade of the twentieth century, relatively rare in American art.^° Although it is true that the Eight portrayed a section of life that had previously been ignored in American painting, a part of that life remained invisible in their paintings. In their attempt to depict the poor it is a slightly sentimentalized poor that we see. The fact of their overcrowded, unsanitary, slum living conditions— conditions which were the subject of numerous sensational muckraking articles and books, is glossed over in favour of depictions of touching warmth and energetic life. One also never sees the modernist character of New York— its most obvious quality. The skyline and the modern skyscrapers are again glossed over in favour of indeterminate settings, as with Henri, or the distinctive homely neighbourhoods of Sloan. As Amy Goldin as observed the city appears as an 31 "overgrown village" , with the nostalgic character of a nineteenth century community. The work of the Eight, then, represents a strange mixture of acceptance and rejection of modernity. It is as if in order to accomodate to the new world they translated it into the terms of the past, thereby humanizing the new. During the early years of the second decade Henri and 36 Sloan both worked on behalf of the left, Henri as an instructor at the Ferrer School (directed by the anarchist Emma Goldman) and Sloan as a cartoonist for the socialist journal The Masses. Intended as a vehicle by which to educate Americans regarding the nature and benefits of socialism, over one third of The Masses was given over to full and double pages of the work of Sloan and the other artists on staff. Their political cartoons often served as illustration to the text. They were always simple, easily read and direct in their attack upon the institutions of capitalism. Like The Masses' editor, Max Eastman, Sloan always maintained that art and politics could not be mixed. While his cartoons could be used for the purpose of education the political will which informed them was kept separate from his paintings. There were, then, several opposing forms of art current in America at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. To the new industrialists art of the past centuries served to give them a sense of continuity with their chosen history-- that of great European empires of the past. The work of the Impressionists recalled the nineteenth century American past and the Ashcan School represented a mixture of accomodation and resistance to the present. All used an artistic language which was indebted to past styles. Only the socialists attempted to address 37 the present but in doing so used cartoons as a means of education. The art of 291, as we shall see, called into question each of these visions. They wrote: Art in America is still largely misunderstood. Its purpose is not to... make the dukes of Europe feel at home in the mansions of the dollar, nor to serve the latter in any way, nor even to raise the wages of the dressmakers— All "art" of this sort is sham, devoid of truth, or relation to ourselves. Art— pure art— elevates and liberates, because it makes 31 articulate the life of its own time. How art was to liberate and what it was to articulate is the subject of the following chapters. 38 NOTES Letter from Paris, Steichen to Stieglitz, dated November 1913. Quoted in Abrahams, "The Lyrical Left," p.l. 2 Oscar Bluemner, "Audiator et altera pars: Some Plain Sense on the Modern Art Movement," CW Special Number (June 1913): 35. 3 Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom, 1916 reprint edition (J.M.Dent & Sons, 1926) 4 . Richard Hofstadter et al, The American Republic, vol.2: The Progressive Era (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1959. 5 .  . . William Appleman Williams, Americans in a Changing World (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1978), p. 54. The House of Morgan and the Rockefeller Group each controlled several banks, a series of railroads and several national corporations. After 1907, when the two groups acted together to prevent a panic in the stock market, they decided that competition was less fruitful than unity. Thereafter they merged by purchasing stock in each other's companies and by forming interlocking directorates. In 1913 the Pujo Committee of the House of Representatives released a report showing the extent of the Morgan-Rockefeller interests: One hundred and eighteen directorships in 34 banks and trust companies having total resources of $2,697,000,000 and total deposits of $1,983,000,000. Thirty directorships in 10 insurance companies having total assets of $2,293,000,000. One hundred and five directorships in 32 transportation systems having a total capitalization of $11,784,000,000 and a total mileage (excluding express companies and steamship lines) of 150,200. Sixty-three directorships in 24 producing and trading corporations having a total capitalization of $3,339,000. Twenty-five directorships in 12 public utility corpor ations having a total capitalization of $2,150,000,000. In all, 341 directorships in 112 corporations having aggregate resources or capitalization of $22,245,000,000. Translated into the terms of real estate the financial control of the Morgan-Rockefeller combine exceeded the property value of the 22 states west of the Mississippi 39 River and exceeded by three times the property value of all thirteen southern states. (Hofstadter et al, The  Progressive Era, p. 363-64. 7 In 1902 the Socialist Party received 95,000 votes; in 1912 it received 900,000 votes or 6% of the vote. At that time 79 Socialist candidates were elected as mayors in 24 states. (Christopher Lasch, The Agony of the American  Left (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969), p.35.) g See Melvyn Dubofsky, We Shall Be All: A History of  the Industrial Workers of the World (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969) 9 Eastman was a philosophy instructor at Columbia University from 1907 to 1911. He was also editor of The  Masses and a writer. Reed, a writer and poet, was associate editor of The Masses. Dell was a former professor at the University of Chicago. Goldman first came to the public attention in 1902 when she was accused of involvement with the assassination of President McKinley, an involvement which she denied. She was editor of Mother Earth and established the Ferrer School, named after a Spanish anarchist. Believing that all forms of government were unnecessary, as well as inherently violent, anarchists concentrated upon grass-root organization. Berkman, who was very close to Goldman, was jailed for 14 years for the attempted murder of Henry Clay Frick in 1892. 1015,000 spectators attended the pageant. ^The I.W.W. maintained a fragile coalition with the Socialist Party until 1913 when the S.P. voted to prohibit sabotage and direct action. 12 Christopher Lasch, "Herbert Croly's America," New  York Review of Books 4 (July 1, 1965): 19. For accounts of the role of the liberal intellectuals see Charles Forcey, The Crossroads of Liberalism: Croly, Weyl, Lippmann and the  Progressive Era, 1900-1925 (London: Oxford University Press, 1961) and David W. Levy, Herbert Croly of the New Republic:  Life and Thought of an American Progressive (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985). 13 . . James Hoopes, "The Culture of Progressivism: Croly, Lippmann, Brooks, Bourne and the Idea of American Artistic Decadence," CLIO 7:1 (Fall 1977) 14 Walter Lippmann, Drift and Mastery, p.179-80. Ibid., p. 139. 40 16Ibid., p. 194. 17 Quoted in Daniel Aaron, Writers on the Left (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1961), p. 25. ^Ibid . , p. 23 . 19Ibid., p. 24. 20 In her memoires Mabel Dodge recalls the same speech and mentions that the three.artists were present. See Mabel Dodge Luhan, Intimate Memories, Vol. 3, Movers and Shakers (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1936), p. 90. 21 Bill Haywood, quoted in Max Eastman's Venture (New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1927), p.210-11. 22 Hutchins Hapgood, "Art and Unrest," New York Globe, reprinted in CW 42/43 (April- July 1913): 43. 23 W.G.Constable, Art Collecting m the United States  of America: An Outline of a History (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1964), p.98. 24Ibid., p. 139. 25 . . Benjamin de Casseres, "American Indifference," CW 27 (July 1909): 25. 2 6 Charles H. Caffin, "Irresponsibility in High Places," CW 26 (April 1909): 22. 27 Several examples of these images can be found in Patricia Hills, Turn of the Century America (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1977). 2 8 Robert Henri, the Eight's leader, wrote in 1908 that there was no unity in their approach except that they all agreed that 'life' was to be the subject. They wished to be contemporary— to treat contemporary themes in a realistic manner. Furthermore, as Henri wrote in 1909, the artist should learn to express "the great ideas native to the country". American painting, Henri believed, demanded "far roots, stretching far down into the soil of a nation, and in its growth showing, with whatever variation, inevitably the result of these conditions." (Robert Henri, "Progress in Our National Art," (January 1909), quoted in Homer, Robert Henri and His Circle, p. 284.) 29 Scenes of the theatre, bar, cafe-concert and the boulevard were, of course, quite frequent in French Impressionist painting. 41 Sloan, Luks and Henri, especially, were drawn to this type of subject. For Sloan and Henri the working class were closer to the realities of life than other groups in society. Wheras Henri usually depicted single figures Sloan approached the city's life as if it were theatre. In his works were a series of vignettes— the dying of a woman's hair as seen through a hairdresser's window, working class women beginning their day at 3 A.M., men playing with pigeons on a roof. 31 ... Amy Goldm, "The Eight's Laissez-Faire Revolution," Art in America 61 (July-August 1973): 47. Oscar Bluemner, "Audiator et altera pars,": 25. 42 CHAPTER TWO In January of 1907 the gallery first opened its doors to the exhibition of non-photographic art. The first artist to be shown was Pamela Colman Smith, an artist born in Great Britain and residing alternately in Jamaica and the United States. She received three exhibitions at 291, the second in February and March of 1908 and a third in March of 1909.^ Smith's subjects were clearly symbolist in orientation. Describing her third exhibition Benjamin de Casseres, a critic and close associate of 291, wrote the following in Camera Work: Here- as in "Warum", Man stands questioning the Infinite, or again, as in "Closing Day", a figure blasted with melancholia has dragged himself to the eaves of space, or as in "The White Castle", a wonderfully executed piece of work- the eternal ascetic appears against the snowpeaks of spiritual isolation. What matter the subject? The artist here is spying the old immortal things in a new immortal way" In The Wave (1903, fig.2) human forms momentarily emerge from the surrounding darkened water only, presumably, to merge again with the undifferentiated sea. Such images, to de Casseres, were evidence that Smith was "a blender of visions, a mystic, a symbolist, one who transfigures the world she lives in by the overwhelming simplicity of her 3 ... imagination." De Casseres* appreciation of Smith's work continued: 43 Pamela Colman Smith has seen through many veils. To her the universe is a congeries of suggestions. She has smitten with the rod of her imagination this adamant world of such seeming solids and vaporized it. And out^of the vapor she has shaped her visions of lif e . . . The critic James Huneker, in an essay published earlier in Camera Work, similarly praised Smith for her "rare quality of imagination." Comparing her work to that of Blake, Ensor, Beardsley, Munch, Redon and Maeterlinck, he said that Smith's drawings were "memoranda of spiritual exaltation, of the soul under the influence of music or haunted by some sinister imagining^ That Smith should inaugurate what would prove to be America's first series of modern art exhibitions appears, perhaps, somewhat odd. She represents, however, not an anomaly but a logical continuity of 291's interests and orientation. Much of the photography which was previously shown, and especially that of Steichen was clearly indebted to a symbolist aesthetic. Stiechen himself was in close touch with Maurice Maeterlinck, the Belgian symbolist playwright, beginning in 1903 and other close associates of the gallery, particularly critics Sadakichi Hartmann, Charles Caffin and Benjamin de Casseres, were strongly 7 influenced by Maeterlinck, Mallarme and Verlaine. Moreover the fact that Smith was given three exhibitions, and was the only American-based artist to show at 291 for the first two years of its exhibition of non-photographic 44 art, attests to the fact that her aesthetic was one of which Stieglitz approved. Smith's works represented to 291 a form of protest against the predominant way of life. De Casseres wrote: I have spoken of the "overwhelming simplicity of her work. They are so simple that fat practical brains will either see in them nothing or lunacy... The world is so completely and irretrievably lost in the concrete, it has so carefully moulded of the secondary and incidental characteristics of creation a world within a world, that a poet, such as Pamela Colman Smith, who speaks directly of things as they are perceived by the mind not yet overlaid by the painted illusions of sight and are not affected by the deadly automatism of routine, is believed to have a touch of insanity.... Fat Mind standing before these wonderful offerings of Miss Smith will let this ooze from his mouth: "There is no such world as I see here; there are no such mountains, no such moons, no such flowers with baby heads on them, no such ships, no such skies." Thus Fat Brain, who is legion.... To such minds [as Smith's] what is practical is vulgar, what is utilitarian is ugly.... Our impassioned dreams..-that is the real moment over against which the "real" workaday world is a fiction, a blasphemy, a lie. Pamela Colman Smith has in this manner, I think, challenged the world around her. Within this text we find a number of ideas which appear in Camera Work with regular consistency throughout the years 1908-13. The concrete, "workaday" world, the world which we assume to be "real" is a fiction, an illusion. To this world of practicality and utilitarian goals is contrasted another world: the world of dreams. Smith's work was thought to challenge the viewer's conception of the "real". Specifically, however, it was felt to challenge the reality of the "Captains of Industry", otherwise known as the "robber barons". De Casseres wrote: 45 Let the scavengers scrape the gutters for coppers and duck in the cesspools of practical life for the rolling dollar. They are the "Captains of Industry"-the grimy, smutty captains of the marts, and their "industry" is a grimy, smutty, lurid hell of lies. And their realm is the realm of the arched spine and the furtive glance and the gluttonous lip. They and all their works shall go in the winds; and the turrets and spires and bridges of our civilization shall long be gangrened in the muds of Oblivion when the dreamers from the slopes of Parnassus shall still with potent rod smite the souls of generations yet unborn; and from them, as from us, shall burst the fountains of exalted wonder. g Pamela Colman Smith has seen by closing the eyes. The oppositional position which Smith's art was felt to embody was not perceived as such by the public. Her 1907 exhibition which was originally scheduled to run for ten days was prolonged by eight days because of the interest it aroused. In spite of continuous bad weather over 2,200 people visited the exhibition. In addition, over half of her 72 drawings sold.^ Not only did the work of Pamela Colman Smith appeal to a large bourgeois audience, it attracted the very people that de Casseres had expected it to criticize: the Whitneys, Havemeyers and Vanderbilts.^^ However the question remains— what does this sight through closed eyes, this sight which denies the reality of the concrete, practical and the utilitarian signify? Why was it felt to specifically call into question the construction of reality held by the new industrialist class? We will return to this problem at a later point for, I will argue, it is key to understanding 291's position of resistance to the dominant culture. What is first necessary to show is the constancy of 46 this position; that although 291 moved from a symbolist aesthetic to a modernist one their preoccupation with subjective states— with emotion, intuition, imagination, and spirituality— remained constant. Running from 1908 to 1910, roughly concurrently with Smith's three exhibitions, was 29l's exhibition of the first European modernists to be seen in America: Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. While varying in the manner and the degree to which they challenged the dominant form of academicism each did so on both the level of form and content. Rodin's 1908 exhibition consisted wholly of studies of the female nude such as Kneeling Girl- Drawing No. 6 (fig. 3). The critics pointed out the unconventional or untraditional aspects of the drawings: his avoidance of studied poses, the unfinished quality of his work and the seemingly careless way in which thin washes were spread over the drawings. Regardless of their observations most critics appreciated the technical skill displayed in the works. Whether or not they should be exhibited in a public gallery was another matter. W.B.McCormick said in the Press: As a matter of fact these drawings should never have been shown anywhere but in the sculptor's studio, for they are simply notes dashed off, studies of the human form- chiefly of nude females- that are too purely technical to have much general interest except that of a not very elevating kind. Stripped of all "art "atmosphere" they stand as drawings of nude women in attitudes that may interest the artist whcj drew them, but which are not for public exhibition. 47 Two separate issues thus emerged in the press: the untraditional formal qualities of the sketches and their subject, "of not a very elevating kind." The second issue, that of the nature of their subject matter, dominated the critics' discussion. The tone for the discussion seems to have been set by the gallery itself. In the catologue essay of the exhibition, reprinted in Camera Work, Arthur Symons described Rodin's drawings in the following terms: ...In these astonishing drawings from the nude we see woman carried to a further point of simplicity than even in Degas: woman the animal; woman, in a strange sense, the idol... Each drawing indicates, as if in the rough block of stone, a single violent movement. Here a woman faces you, her legs thrown above her head; here she faces you with her legs thrust out before her, the soles of her feet seen close and gigantic. She squats like a toad, she stretches herself like a cat, she stands rigid, she lies abandoned. Every movement of her body, violently agitated by the remembrance, or the expectation, or the act of desire, is seen at an expressive moment. She turns upon herself in a hundred attitudes, turning always upon the central pivot of the sex, which emphasizes itself with a fantastic and fright ful monotony. The face is but just indicated, a face of wood, like a savage idol; and the body has rarely any of that elegance, seductiveness, and shivering delicacy of life which we find in the marble. It is a machine in movement, a monstrous, devastating machine, working mechanically, and possessed by the one rage of the animal. This description, like the Rodin drawings, makes the fact of the drawings reference to sexuality, of woman as object of desire, explicit. However the problematic nature of this presentation of woman— as object, as reptile, as "monstrous, devastating machine", was overlooked in both 48 Camera Work and the press. The Rodin drawings were presented and interpreted, by those who were sympathetic, as a "challenge to the prurient prudery of our 14 puritanism", as a needed release from the strictures of an outmoded, overly restrictive morality. The Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec exhibitions appear to have been presented for similar reasons. Matisse's first exhibition at 291, held from April 6 to 25, 1908, again consisted mainly of female nudes. The works were organized in such a way as to suggest the evolution of his style from relatively realistic etchings of 1903 to watercolours such as Nude (1907, fig. 4), works which were rendered in vivid colours and a free expressionist style. This time 291 issued no catalogue and no information to guide the audience's response, preferring, as they said in the July issue of Camera Work, to leave everyone to their own resources. As the journal was quick to point out the exhibition acted as an irritant, leading to "many heated 15 controversies". Some critics , in reviewing the exhibition, took a slightly humorous approach in describing Matisse's formal innovations. However for most critics Matisse's works represented a "vulgarization" of his subject, woman. James Huneker of the New York Sun described Matisse's depictions of the "female animal in all her shame and horror" as "memoranda of the gutter and 49 16 brothel" . J.E.Chamberlin, of the New York Daily Mail described them as "most appalling and haunting", the product of a mind condemned "to the limbo of artistic 17 degeneration." Others spoke of the depictions as deforming or otherwise doing violence to the female form. The Scrip summarized the general feeling when it wrote: [T]he mere observer, who is bound to take a little emotion to an interesting picture gallery, is pretty certain to find that emotion unpleasantly stirred, in spite of thg utmost desire to be impersonal and appreciative. When female nudes were displayed during the second 19 Matisse exhibition, held from February 23 to March 3 of 1910, they elicited a similar response from the press. There was now, however, the suggestion that Matisse's work represented, not simply a vulgarization of his subject but was also a "revolt against authority", an attempt at 20 "shocking the bourgeois". While James Huneker could dismiss this attempt by comparing it to the boyhood prank of 21 "the small boy snowballing the fat teacher" Mr. Townsend of the American Art News indicated that Matisse's works were perceived, at least by some, to be part of a serious issue. Around Matisse", he wrote, "now wages the 22 war of the suffragists and the anti-suffragists". Before suggesting the key to understanding these associations one further artist should be examined, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His exhibition, held from December 20, 1909 to January 14, 1910, also focused upon the depiction of women. Whereas the female subjects of Rodin and Matisse 50 were depicted without reference to class or social position, most of Lautrec's women, as Camera Work observed, "belong 23 unmistakably to the lower Parisian social order." Certain of Lautrec's representations of Yvette Guilbert and Jane Avril, well known entertainers of the Parisian cafe-concert, were included at 291. The exhibition centred, however, upon a series of eleven lithographs which were 24 published in 1896 under the title "Elles". These scenes were taken from the life of the prostitutes who inhabited the Parisian brothels. They were depicted in a variety of poses, from pinning up their hair or pouring water into a wash basin to more emotionally laden depictions of women lying exhausted on the bed. In one, Woman in Corset- Conquest of Passage (1896, fig.5), the woman is shown undressing while her client looks on. While the critics admired Lautrec's draughtsmanship they objected to the context in which woman was shown, a context which J.E.Chamberlin described as "the seamy side of 25 ... life". Arthur Hoeber, academic painter and critic, insisted that the purpose of art was higher and nobler than this. He wrote: One can find, as a rule, that for which he searches and to start out with the preconception that all humanity is degraded, sordid, ignoble, is to deliberately ignore the presence of other and better qualities. The consumptive woman of the pavement is scarcely fit theme for the brush of the painter, the pencil of the lithographer. Granted she is part of the problems of life, it serves little of the purpose of art to perpetuate her in serious drawing. The degraded 51 female of the bagnio, no matter how realistically presented, is only abhorrent, and the vulgarity of the semi-nude bourgeoise is never subject for aesthetic eyes, for the more true the presentation, the more objectionable the fact. One leaves this room with a bad taste in the mouth; it is depressing to study2^hese types; the visitor feels apologetic for his race. As mentioned, 29l's intent in exhibiting this series of works by the Europeans seems to have been to make a statement regarding the importance of passion to culture. While depictions of the female nude were common in Europe, Victorian reserve prohibited similar representations in American art. The most popular form of art, American Impressionism, depicted woman in a very narrow context; fully and finely clothed she was almost always placed within the private sphere of the home. It presented her in accordance with dominant Victorian ideals-- as cloistered, respectable, cultured and as a model of proper moral restraint. The Ashcan School, in depicting women in mixed company in the parks, restaurants, streets— in short, as participating in public life, had broken with the essentially mid-nineteenth century view of social life as depicted by American Impressionists. With the crumbling of the Victorian social structure in the 1890's women gained considerable freedom to move into the public realm. However the doctrine of moral respectability and self-control, so important to the success ideology of mid-nineteenth century American culture, was 52 still engrained in the customs of Americans well into the twentieth century. This doctrine was especially strict with regards to the behavior of women. It was because of Puritanism, Sadakichi Hartmann wrote in Camera Work that "the natural and sensual had been crushed" and all "natural expression of the heart's emotions was proscribed". This prohibitive sense of "decency, propriety and regularity" was destructive, Hartmann said, not only to art but to all intellectual pursuits. He wrote: [T]heir can be no vital art of any sort... until we dare face our passions, until we are unashamed to be what we are... And as long as we- as Heine said of the Berliners-sit in snow up to our navels, and torment ourselves with conscientious scruples we will have no candor, no fire and dash in any intellectual act. We will remain a grey race, our passions will be cold, and a petty and pallig taste will pervade our world of arts and letters. 291, in chosing to exhibit the female nudes of the Europeans, attempted to confront the public with the repression of their passions. However as we have seen, the public responded by condemning the works as degenerate, as "memoranda of the gutter and brothel". After Smith's third show in March of 1909 she did not exhibit at 291 again. It was at this point that the gallery began to show the work of American artists who had been influenced by the new trends in Europe. The first of these exhibitions occurred in April 1909 with a joint exhibition 53 of the works of Alfred Maurer and John Marin. Maurer was . 29 far more experimental than Marin however, except for his exclusion in a group show, held in March of 1910, Maurer was not shown at 291 again. Marin, on the other hand, became very close to the group and, during the years prior to the Armory Show, remained by far the most exhibited artist at 30 291. During his stay in Europe he had had access to members of the European avant-garde through Steichen and Gertrude Stein. However he remained, for the most part, uninterested or unaware of the new developments. While the patterning effect in works such as Mills and Bridge, Meaux (1907, fig.7) may have been through the influence of the Nabis or the Fauves the strongest and most direct influence 31 upon Marin was Whistler's watercolours. Marin's subject matter, which centred upon the old buildings of Europe: small villages, courtyards or cathedral facades, could best be described as picturesque. Marin's work, mixing traditional subject matter and technique with a limited influence of the new European styles, was presented by 291 as representing a bridge to the past.• Calling Marin a "poet and visionary of the highest order", William McColl, in the April 1910 issue of Camera Work, described Marin's exhibition in the following terms: The impression that we receive on entering is rather of having stepped out of some new world- that new world which is ever about us, of raw or but half-formed materials in the making- into some antique one, some ancient playground of bygone, half-forgotten memories... The real truth is that the Photo-Secession 54 Galleries are an imaginatively ideal link between the present and the past. Throbbing, pulsing with life, the life that connects itself immutably with the past, because its roots, as has been said of all religions, are so "deep in the earth of man's nature". The sunshine that dwells here is of an ever new-old world... and t^e music that we hear is of that old symbolic type. 29l's conception of itself as an oasis, isolated from the life around it is expressed in McColl's image of stepping out of the world around him into an antique playground of memories. In this interpretation of Marin's work we see an attempt to find in the past, or through an "imaginatively ideal" construction of the past, an attempt to express qualities or elements which were missing in the present. A similar search for roots of sustenance can be found in Marsden Hartley's work, the other American artist to exhibit his work at 291 during this period. Hartley's first exhibition, held in May of 1909, displayed a series of landscapes which he had produced under the infuence of the Italian painter Giovanni Segantini. The "Segantini stitch" was a neo-Impressionist technique which, as Camera Work described, consisted of "using colors pure and laying them side by side upon the canvas in long flecks that look like stitches of embroidery." The bright colour scheme was one which "startled the beholder". Unlike the quiet, domesticated rural settings of the Impressionists Hartley chose to depict the more dramatic forest-covered mountains of Maine. In images such as Cosmos 55 (1908-9, fig.8) the heavy clouds and mountains are rendered in a thick impasto. At the expense of traditional perspective there is considerable emphasis upon decorative pattern. Hartley's choice of Segantini as a model appears to be not unrelated to the fact that the Italian artist had attempted to fuse his neo-Impressionist technique with mystical subject matter. Hartley had been concerned for some time with finding a means to express his spiritual beliefs through his artistic form. A devoted Episcopalian from childhood, he had come very close to entering the preisthood in 1900. As early as that date he believed that divinity could be perceived in nature. He encountered various influences which supported his view, most important of which were Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. Like the Transcendentalists he saw a "correspondence" between the inner spirit of man and the spirit immanent in nature and attempted to discover his spiritual relation to nature. Describing the significance of the symbol of the mountain in his works, Hartley revealed a projection of his own mood upon nature. The mountain was unique among other elements, he said, in that little or nothing can be done to it by the ravages of silent agencies.... It is this element of hypnosis in nature itself which makes us cling to it as a relief from the vacuities of human experience. Mountains are things, entities of a grandiose character, and the one who understands them best is the one who can suffe^ them best and respect their profound loneliness. 56 The idea of taking refuge in nature as "relief from the vacuities of human experience" seems to reveal the key to understanding Hartley's intention. He wrote at this time that he had "come back to the original child within, the romanticist" and that his work represented "little visions 35 of the intangible". If others, such as Ashcan member 3 6 John Sloan found Hartley's mysticism "a little too much" Hartley remained convinced of his inner vision. He wrote: Some will say that [I] have gone mad- others will look and say [I have] looked in at the lattice of Heaven and ccjme back with the madness of splendor on [me] . From the works which Hartley displayed at the Younger American Painters exhibition, held at 291 in March of 1910, it was evident that his style had changed significantly. In the previous year he had discovered the work of the American visionary painter Albert Pinkham Ryder and he subsequently executed a number of works "as close to Ryder as 3 8 possible". His attempts to identify his own emotional condition with the landscape remained. Experiencing a period of extreme loneliness and isolation which brought him close to suicide Hartley wrote: [Ryder] saw with an all too pitiless and pitiful eye the element of hopelessness in things, the complete succumbing of things in nature to those elements greater than they that wield a fatal power. The element of despair is conveyed in such paintings as Deserted Farm and The Dark Mountain (fig.9), both of 1909. In both pictures the horizon line, where mountains meet sky, 57 is very high. In the foreground there are flaccid, broken trees which have long since lost their foliage. They overlook a valley in which a tiny farmhouse stands overwhelmed by the immensity of the mountains behind. While the sense of rhythmic patterning of his previous landscapes remains their bright colours have been replaced by dark tones. Thus in the years 1909 to 1910 Marin and Hartley adopted elements of European modernism into their art. While their stylistic innovations would have appeared as a drastic departure from the styles of the American Impressionists and the Ashcan School, compared to the work done concurrently in Europe Marin and Hartley were, in this initial stage, relatively cautious in their approach. During the years 1911 to 1913 this cautiousness on the part of the 291 artists would disappear and they would equal in innovative quality the experimentation then undertaken in Europe. Despite the change in formal approach, however, two things remained constant: their stress upon the importance of expressing subjective states— emotion, imagination and spirituality— and their estrangement from, and resistance to, the present. As Hartley's quotes indicate, he personally felt alienated and disempowered by the forces around him. His turning to nature seems to represent an 58 effort to salvage meaning and purpose through a regenerative power outside of or beyond society. He appeared to take comfort from the fact that the social present was ephemeral when compared to the immensity of a greater force, in his terms, "immanent spirit". In the absence of evidence regarding Marin's intentions it is difficult to make similar claims as to his intentions with any certainty. However it seems that on the basis of McColl's article, the only discussion of his work in Camera Work of this period, 291 viewed his art as an imaginative link to some ideal past, distant from the American past and present. In short if the American present was, as they described it, "chaotic, 40 neurotic, inconsequent and out of equilibrium" they responded by searching into other times or other forces to find value or hope. This trend continued in the years to follow. Not only did 291 bring in Rousseau, praising his naive, primitive qualities, they also scheduled a series of children's exhibitions. Children, to them, represented a spontaneous, natural force, one not yet "blinded" by education, by societal expectations. They were as yet unlimited by conventional frameworks of thought and behavior. Discussing children's art in Camera Work Sadakichi Hartmann praised their purity, alertness of vision, directness and enthusiasm. The child, he said, thrives in the realm of the unconscious and recalls elemental qualities. All of these 59 qualities were ones which the members of 291 attempted regain for themselves and convey through their art. 60 NOTES •'"Smith was born in Great Britain and lived in Jamaica and the United States. She exhibited at 291 January 5-24 1907, February 26- March 11 1908 and March 17-27 1909. 2 Benjamin de Casseres, "Pamela Colman Smith," CW 27 (July 1909): 18. 3Ibid. 4Ibid. 5 James Huneker, New York Sun (January 15, 1907), reprinted in CW 18 (April 1907): 37. 6 To call attention to the symbolist influence in Steichen's photographs the Special Steichen Supplement of CW (April 1906) contained an introduction by Maeterlinck. 7 ..Hartmann, for example, edited a magazine entitled the Art Critic in the 1890's which contained the strong influence of French symbolism. He was a friend of Walt Whitman, had attended Mallarme's 'Tuesday evenings' and had met Verlaine. g Benjamin de Casseres, "Pamela Colman Smith," pp. 19-20. 9 Ibid., p. 20, 10"Photo-Secession Notes," CW 18 (April 1907):49. '''''Review of the 1907 opening in the New York Sun by James Huneker. Reported in Homer, Alfred Stieglitz and the  American Avant-Garde, p. 43. 12 W.B.McCormick in the Press. Reprinted in CW 22 (April 1908):38. 13 Arthur Symons' catalogue essay on Rodin, reprinted in "The Rodin Drawings at the Photo-Secession Galleries," CW 22 (April 1908): 35. 14 ... J. N. Laurvik in the Times, reprinted in CW 22 (April 1908):37. 15"Photo-Secession Notes" CW 23 (July 1908): 9. 16 James Huneker in the New York Sun, reprinted in CW 23 (July 1908): 11. 61 17 . . J. E. Chamberlin in the New York Evening Mail, reprinted in CW 23 (July 1908): 11. •I Q The Scrip (June), reprinted in CW 23 (July 1908): 12. 19 . Displayed in this exhibition were mostly studies of the female nude and black and white reproductions of paintings. Of the latter type were included Joie de Vivre (1905-6), The Blue Nude (1907) and Portrait of Madame  Matisse (1905). Harmony in Red (1909) and Harmony in Blue (1908) may also have been included. 20 James Huneker in the New York Sun, reprinted in CW 30 (April 1910): 48. 21T,., Ibid. 22 Mr. Townsend in American Art News, reprinted m CW 30 (April 1910): 52. 23 "Photo-Secession Exhibitions/ Lithographs by Toulouse-Lautrec," CW 29 (January 1910): 51. 24 The "Elles" lithographs were published in an edition of one hundred. 25 J. E. Chamberlin in the Mail (December 30, 1909), reprinted in CW 29 (January 1910): 53. Arthur Hoeber in the Globe (December 29, 1909), reprinted in CW 29 (January 1910): 54. 27 See Lary May, Screening Out the Past: The Birth of  Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980), Thorstein Veblen, The  Theory of the Leisure Class, 1899 reprint edition (New York: Modern Library, 1934), Theodor W. Adorno, "Veblen's Attack on Culture, " in Prisms (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1967), pp. 75-94 and Carol Christ, "Victorian Masculinity and the Angel in the House," in A Widening Sphere: Changing  Roles of Victorian Women, edited by Martha Vicinus (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977). 2 8 Sadakichi Hartmann, "Puritanism, Its Grandeur and Shame," CW 32 (October 1910): 17-19. 29 Maurer had, in the early part of the first decade, produced images of women in quiet domestic interiors not unlike those depicted by the American Impressionsists. By 1906 a drastic change in his approach was evident. In Woman with Hat (1907, fig. 6), the expressive distortions of the 62 face and the high-keyed colour show his indebtedness to Fauvism. 30 Marin had four exhibitions between the opening of 291 and the Armory Show compared to Hartley's two, Dove's one and Walkowitz's one. 31 See Reich, John Marin, for a detailed account of Marin's stylistic influences and development. 32 . ... William D. McColl, "Exhibition of Water-Colors, Pastels and Etchings by John Marin," CW 30 (April 1910): 41. 33 "Unphotographic Paint:- The Texture of Impressionism," CW 28 (October 1909): 20. 34Quoted in Barbara Haskell, Marsden Hartley (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1974), p. 17. Ibid. 3 6 John Sloan, in a diary entry dated March 23, 1909, wrote: Went to Glackens studio to see Hartley's work. It is broken color "Impressionism". Some two or three canvases I liked-- the more sincere nervous sort. Some of them seem affectations... The work had, however, several good spots in it... Everett [Shinn] doesn't like the Hartleys even a little bit... Four days later he wrote that Hartley's mysticism was "a little too much for me, and I hope it won't finally prove too much for his paintings." (John Sloan's New York Scene, Bruce St. John, ed. (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1965), n.p.) 37 Hartley, letter of 1908, quoted in Haskell, Marsden  Hartley, p. 17. 38Ibid., p. 39. 39 Ibid. 40 Marius de Zayas, "The Sun has Set," CW 39 (July 1912): pp. 45-6. 63 CHAPTER THREE The subject of modernity did not directly enter into the work exhibited at 291 until 1912 when Marin exhibited, along with a group of watercolours of the Tyrolean Alps, a few views of New York city. He had returned to New York in late 1909 where he remained, except for a brief stay in Europe during 1910. Faced with the new visual and social environment of New York he immediately attempted to depict that city's modernity. Unlike Paris, which exhibited its modernity in only isolated monuments or areas of the city, New York was the most thoroughly modern city in the world. Picabia, upon visiting New York for the Armory Show called the city "the cubist, the futurist city.''' It expresses in its architecture, its life, its spirit the modern 2 thought." John van Dyke, who visited New York in 1909, was one of many commentators to describe it as "more striking, more impressive than any other city on the globe". Writers like Van Dyke described the city in terms of its unigue qualities- its skyline of skyscrapers looming above the city, the Brooklyn Bridge, the noise and frenzied movement of its crowds-especially during the strange phenomenon called "rush-hour", the sense of constant change or impermanence in the constant pulling down and rebuilding. New York's modernity was a product of its business, as van Dyke pointed out: 64 The enormous buildings, the roar of the traffic in the streets, the babel of tongues, the glare of the lights, the strident screech of car wheels, speak the business character of the city as the hum of a top its spinning motion... But the skyscraper of commerce looms above the university and the art gallery on the horizon line of the city; and the master builder of the sky-scraper, the so-called captain of industry, seems to fill the most conspicious plac^ in the interest and affections of the city's people. Most Impressionist artists ignored the fact of the city's modernity, preferring to depict the rural landscape or the domestic scene. However those few who did address the subject, such as Childe Hassam, depicted the modern features of the city softened and transformed by dusk, night, or through veils of snow or mist. As Donald Kuspit 4 has suggested, such a depiction seemed to function in such such a way as to naturalize or neutralize-or find a way of feeling at home with- the city's modernity. John Marin was the first artist to represent its modern features in a clear, direct manner. His first works, from 1910, view the skyline from a distance, depicting it in a clear, linear style from across a harbour or river. Slightly later images such as Downtown New York (1910) or From the Window of 291 Looking Down Fifth Avenue (1911, fig. 10) depict the city streets and buildings from a closer viewpoint. Here the structure and solidity of the earlier views is lost. The buildings, rendered in broad washes of colour, appear to melt together. That Marin was searching for an appropriate means of expressing the subject is clear from this note written to Stieglitz : 65 As you have no doubt been told by Haviland, the sky scrapers struck a snag, for the present at least; so we had to push in a new direction... [I]t may be a step forward. Let us hope so. By the time of his 1913 exhibition, held in January and February of 1913-just prior to the Armory Show, it was obvious that Marin had indeed taken a new direction. As Camera Work noted, these were "a radical departure from any previous interpretation of New York." In this series of works Marin showed, in watercolour, not only generalized street scenes, such as Downtown New York (1912), and Movement, Fifth Avenue (1912, fig.11) but images of Brooklyn Bridge, and the Singer and Woolworth buildings. In these structures he could hardly have found more modern symbols; the 47 story Singer building, completed in 1908 was surpassed in height only by the Woolworth building. Completed in 1913 the Woolworth Building was the world's 6 tallest skyscraper at 60 stories. However, Marin's intent was not to depict the city or its modernity but to convey the feeling which the city instilled. In Movement, Fifth  Avenue Marin suggests the city's energy by tilting the buildings' axes at various angles and by the seemingly rapid way in which he rendered the scene. The crowd below is undifferientiated into one surging mass of movement. Above them, placed in the space where the tilting buildings do not meet, is a clock resting upon a somewhat unsteady pole. Marin explained his intention in a catalogue statement. The life of the city, he said, was not confined simply to 66 its people and animals. The whole city, including its buildings, was alive by virtue of their ability to move his emotions. He stressed that it was his intent to express the different feelings that the buildings called into being. He wrote: I see great forces at work; great movements; the large buildings and the small buildings; the warring of the great and the small; influences of one mass on another greater or smaller mass. Feelings are aroused which give me the desire to express the reaction of these •pull forces,' those influences which play with one another; great masses pulling smaller masses, each subject in some degree to the other's power. In life all things come under the magnetic influence of other things; the bigger assert themselves strongly, the smaller not so much, but they still assert them selves, and though hidden they strive to be seen and in doing so change their bent and direction. While these powers are at work pushing, pulling, sideways, downwards, upwards, I can hear the sound of their strife. And so I try to express graphically what a great city is doing. Within the frames there must be a balance, a controlling of these warring, pushing, pulling forces. This is what I am trying to reali ze. Marin saw the buildings of New York, then, as a personification of warring and pushing forces or powers. His intent, in depicting these forces, was to realize within the pictorial frame a balance or control over them. This balance was, of course, a symbolic or imaginative one— an attempt to come to terms with his own simultaneous admiration and fear of these symbols of modernity. In a letter to Stieglitz Marin expressed this changing response; Maybe now and then a little fit of the blues, but then there are days when I am glad to be alive and just to see the wonderful city in its different 67 aspects and then I say, I will! I will! I will! I have just started some Downtown stuff and to pile these great houses one upon another with paint as they do sometimes pile themselves up there so beautiful, so fantastic- at times one is afraid to look at them but feels like running away. This ambivalence is especially clear in the series of works depicting the Woolworth Building. In some the skyscraper appears tall and virile while in others it seems to express the mere fact of its overpowering scale. The second artist to deal with the theme of modernity was Abraham Walkowitz. His exhibition, held from December 15, 1912- January 14, 1913, was unlike Marin's in that it concentrated not upon the commercial skyline of New York but on the people within the city. He depicted a range of scenes including "men digging subway trenches, bathers on the Coney Island beach, groups of people in the street, dancers upon the stage, a thousand sights that any one might 9 . 10 see.." Largest in number appear to have been those works which depicted park or beach scenes. These scenes are formulaic in their construction and are usually presented in a long horizontal format. Like Scene in the Park (n.d., fig.12) the scene is typically divided into horizontal bands- the lower half defines the ground line while the upper half is again divided in half. The lower band represents a river or lake while the upper defines the foliage of trees or a far shore. The trunks of these trees provide vertical, and occasionally diagonal,contrast to the horizontal lines of the composition and are distributed in 68 such a way that the scene is broken up by their rhythmic dispersal. These trees are arranged parallel to the picture plane, thereby refusing to lend the picture depth. Arranged within this structure are figures- singular or arranged in pairs or groups, seated, standing or reclining. They are often arranged within the landscape without regard for scale, further disturbing any suggestion of depth. Except for the rare beach scene, the figures are clothed in contemporary dress. The scenes show some indebtedness to Matisse in their colouration and in their decorative surface qualities. Attempting to lend to his compositions the naive quality of children's art, Walkowitz's figures are heavy, blocky and betray a naive quality. Details of the figure are omitted- including not only modeling and details of dress but also the features of the face. Obvious similarities can be seen in Walkowitz's choice of themes and that of the "Eight"; both depicted not only the life of the city but specifically the modern quality of that life. However a comparison of Walkowitz's work to John Sloan's Picnic Grounds (1906-7, fig.13) shows that whereas Sloan respects the traditional pictorial conventions of depth, scale, narrative, modeling and realistic rendering of the figure, Walkowitz disrupts those conventions. In Camera Work Oscar Bluemner elaborated upon the significance of this disruption for 291. He called attention to Walkowitz's distance from 69 "naturalistic-academic" painting, calling him "the living antithesis of the "Academic". Each picture, he said, "has its own reality and its own inner laws, by which it is an organism, totally and purposefully different from nature. However despite their anti-academic quality, to "a feeling eye", Bluemner said, Walkowitz's pictures look "naturalistic", real, by way of imagination and memory of corresponding experience". Bluemner explained: ...Walkowitz goes at once to the fundamental recognition of the fact that intense and specific feeling, as well as absolute harmony, are always actuated and represented only by a single motive of nature at a time, a theme of a figure or of a scene, of any object or general effect, while all else that that makes up the natural ensemble, is irrelevant to that one specific pictorial idea. Therefore he ignores the totality of nature, eliminates all the irrelevancies, dissolves the natural corporation of the remaining features and qualities, and rearranges them in a new composition of lineaments and tone-figurations distributed over the picture plane. In doing that he is now conscious only of the pictorial sensation derived from the actual motive to be expressed. He limits himself to the intense expression of the motive and makes its pictorial qualities the motif of a composition. By repetition, variation, arrangement, co-ordination, balance and always by a rhythmical feeling, a new, unreal, purely expressive vision of life-sensation is created.... To ask what he wants to say or what particularity he saw, is not to the point. After all, the painter sees as he feels; the spectator is left^to that visible outcome- and to his own imagin ation. Several key ideas can be found within Bluemner's text. Walkowitz's paintings have their own reality and their own inner laws, laws which are intentionally different from nature. Their construction is dependent upon the dissolution and rearrangement of the "natural", a 70 re-arrangement which eliminates all irrelevant qualities. The ultimate purpose of such a process is the expression of a vision which is dependent upon feeling. The viewer can thus appreciate the result not through an intellectual process but by the exercise of his or her imagination. The same principles are to be found in the work of Arthur Dove, who had his first solo exhibition at 291 in February and March of 1912. Whereas in Walkowitz's elimination of "all irrelevant qualities" recognizable form still remained, Dove took the principle of elimination further. The series of ten pastels shown at 291 were, as Camera Work described them, "decorative designs based on pure line, form and colour". Later known collectively as the "Ten Commandments", the works were originally exhibited without titles so that the viewer would rely solely on his or her own response to them. The pastels were, as Dove called them, "extractions" from nature, extraction suggesting a process of distillation. The works were the culmination of experiments with form that Dove had been undertaking since his stay in France during 1908-9. Inspired by Fauvism he had decided to "simplify Impressionism", to reduce his late Impressionist landscape compositions to large areas of pure colour. In Nature  Symbolized #2 (Wind on Hillside) (c.1912, fig.14) expression is based solely on the play of abstract formal elements- the 71 juxtaposition of colour and contrast of tones, the repetition and superimposition of curvilinear forms and the dynamism implied by the free-floating patterns. Describing the process by which he produced his "Ten Commandments" series Dove wrote: The first step was to chose from nature a motif in color and with that motif to paint from nature, the forms being still objective. The second step was to apply this same principle to form, the actual dependence upon the object (representation) disappearing, and the means of expression becoming purely subjective. After working for some time in this way, I no longer observed in the old way, and, not only began to think subjectively but also to remember certain sensations purely through their form and color, that is, by certain shapes, planes of light, or character lines determined by the meeting of such planes. With the introduction of the line motif the expression grew more plastic and the^struggle with the means became less evident. What began as objective descriptions of motifs from nature became transformed through a subjective process. In the final result the works became records not of objective facts but the artist's response to those facts. Thus Nature Symbolized (Wind on a Hillside) began as a drawing of a windy hillside but became a non-objective "rhythmic painting" in order to express "the spirit of the whole thing".13 In Hartley's work of late 1912 and early 1913 all reference to the world of objects is broken. At that time he produced a series of about twenty canvases which he called Intuitive Abstractions, Cosmic Cubism or Subliminal 72 Cubism. With the financial support of Stieglitz Hartley vas able to travel to Europe in April of 1912. He nonetheless kept in close touch vith Stieglitz and the members of 291. Initially attracted to the vorks of the Parisian avant-garde Hartley soon became disillusioned vith vhat he believed to 14 be the excessive intellectualism of the French. He became attached to a group of German artists living in Paris and through their mystical leanings reneved his earlier attempts to express spirituality through his art. Through the German artists he vas introduced to Kandinsky and Der Blaue Reiter. By October he vrote to Stieglitz of his "recurrence of religious aspirations". Painting No. 1, begun in January of 1913 (fig.15) vas one of the last of the series. Regarding the vorks Hartley vrote to Stieglitz: Modern art is nov taking a plunge invard and men are revolting against superficial ideas. Each man is trying to look to himself and see vhat he finds there. Inspired by Picasso's analytical cubist forms (the result of vhat Hartley called Picasso's intuitive, creative processes) and Kandinsky's abstract forms Hartley produced his series of Intuitive Abstractions. He vrote to Stieglitz: I did these things... as a result of spiritual illuminations and I am convinced that it is my true and real utterance... I am convinced of the Bergson argument in philosophy, that the intuition is the only vehicle for art expression and it is on this basis that I am proceeding- My first impulses came from the mere suggestion in Kandinsky's book The Spiritual in Art. With Hartley, then, the total break vith representation is accompanied by a complete closing of the eyes to the outside 73 world. Art to him was an expression of intuition and the result of spiritual illumination. We have seen how, during the years 1907 to 1913, the art produced by the 291 artists changed from relatively naturalistic form in the art of Pamela Colman Smith to non-representation in Hartley's "intuitive abstractions". The first major shift evident in 291's art, I have argued, took place during 1908 to 1910 with the work of Marin and Hartley. The impact of the work from this period is dependent upon both form and the content of that form-- that is, the subject matter. Thus Hartley's mountains were chosen because, for him, they carried emotional or symbolic significance. The impact of that significance is carried through a form which was borrowed from the European avant-garde. While relatively traditional by current European standards, the works produced during this period disturbed viewer's habitual way of perceiving. By 1912 and 1913 another shift is evident. The art shown at 291 became increasingly experimental as the artists depend less and less upon the objective world for subject matter. Walkowitz still refers to the objective facts of the park scene but the "inner logic" of his pictures intercedes in our attempt to read the picture "as reality". In Dove's work of 1912 the link to the world of objects is almost completely broken; it serves as his starting point, 74 his source of inspiration, but the subject of Dove's works is really his subjective experience of a set of objective visual facts. In Hartley's works of late 1912 and 1913 all reference to the outer world of objects disappears and he attempts to express his own inner world. Despite the changes in artistic form during the years 1908 to 1913 the insistence upon the importance of expressing inner, "irrational" states remained constant at 291. As we have seen not all art shown at the gallery was concerned with the same states of subjectivity; Marsden Hartley's mystical orientation, for example, was very much different from the statement the European artists were thought to have made regarding the importance of passion. Throughout the pages of Camera Work, this single conviction remains: the intellect is only part of one's capacity for experience, for understanding. For 291 the 'irrational' states-- passion, imagination, intuition-- were far superior tools with which to experience life. As Benjamin de Casseres said in an article entitled "The Renaissance of the Irrational", The intellect is bankrupt. It is only a park pond. The Mississippi and the Amazon flow through the heart.' A distinction was made in their minds as to the realms in which the rational and irrational operated. Rationality 75 or the intellect, they said, is concerned with defining what is real, what is practical, and what is certain. On a deeper level is the realm of the unconscious and the irrational qualities. What we mistake to be reality is actually a code, a set of conventions by which we order the world. Our construction of reality actually pretends to describe the real world but in truth the world as it is, is unknowable for our own perceptions, thoughts, emotions, intercede to colour that world. What 291 was trying to point to, in effect, was the ideological nature of reality. However between 1908 and 1913 there seems to have been a shift in the way in which 291's strategy addressed the fact of the social construction of reality. Initially, in the work of Smith and the Europeans, for example, that construction was described, pointed to. However later the strategy becomes one which is intended to actually disrupt the viewer in a disintegrative process rather than simply speaking of the necessity for change. By 1912 the articles in Camera Work speak of the different processes involved in the viewer's engagement with art. Most art, they wrote, serves the purpose of a fairy tale-18 - it delights, amuses and distracts. Comparing art to music Sadakichi Hartmann described this process as hypnotic. He wrote: A melody is complete in itself. Produced by instinct it also controls the instinct of the listener. It is fluid sensuous and hypnotic. We are carried away, as on the rush of strange musical waters. 76 We are thus controlled, hypnotized by the work. The purpose of 291's art, on the other hand, was to enlighten or reveal, to provoke discomfort— one which "disturbs the grooves of action". Carrying the analogy of this second approach again to music Hartmann wrote: A broken melody, ending abruptly in silence or in sounds unrelated to the melody, starts us up from our "mystic musings". It is subtler, irritating, it makes-us think. Conclusions are not positive. The effects are more uncertain. The result is half-fancied. It is like struggling in the breakers. The "fragmentary approach", he concluded, consisted of leaving certain things unsaid and appealing to the imagination to solve the problem. The intellect, in effect, was bypassed in the process. The appeal was "to the deeps", as Benjamin de Casseres said in "The Unconscious in Art", 22 but only emotion was capable of awakening the unconscious. What they were arguing, then, was that the intellect, being bound up in the definition of the 'real', the practical, the everyday, was incapable of breaking reality's 'spell' unless it was informed by the deeper processes of the unconscious. In looking to Europe, to the "imaginative past", to the not-yet civilized and to the irrational states of consciousness 291 was looking to find, and integrate, modes of thought and qualities of being alien to that of present American culture. By pointing to the ideological 77 nature of the construction of reality they were questioning its inevitability, its 'naturalness1, its very desirability. As we have seen, the majority of 291 members were recent immigrants, or at least familiar enough with other cultures to be able to take some distance from the American social reality. The very fact of their foreign origins, and their desire to hold on to their foreign identities, would have effectively alienated them from the mainstream of American society. Increasing immigration and the fear of "race suicide" was often perceived to be a serious threat to the "promise of American life", a promise which Herbert Croly defined as superior to the European countries on three counts: economic well-being, political freedom 23 and social and moral integrity. Subsequently immigrants were forced to become Americanized, to lose their foreign identity, as quickly as possible. 291 resisted this pressure and reversed the equation by insisting that American life was essentially problematic and in need of redefining. However unlike the vast majority of Progressives, who concentrated upon the need for structural change, 291 attempted to break the very framework of thought and perception. All other change, they argued, would proceed from this one. How or what structures of society would become transformed was never addressed, essentially because although 291 was capable of criticizing American dominant ideology, it did not see the relationship of 78 ideology, or the inner processes of the psyche, to political and economic structures. As such their critique remained focused upon effects, rather than the relationship between cause and effect. 79 NOTES '''Amy Kurlander, "Cubism and Modern Paris," Unpublished working paper, Harvard University seminar, Spring 1987. 2 .....Francis Picabia, 1913, quoted in Dominic Ricciotti, "The Revolution in Urban Transport: Max Weber and Italian Futurism," The American Art Journal 16:1 (Winter 1984): 46-64. 3 John van Dyke, The New New York (New York: The MacMillan Co., 1909), p. 15. 4 . . . Donald Kuspit, "Individual and Mass Identity in Urban Art: The New York Case," in The Critic as Artist: the  Intentionality of Art (Ann Arbor, Michigan: U.M.I. Research Press, 1984), p. 292. 5 John Marin, letter to Stieglitz, dated New York, October 11, 1910. In Herbert Seligmann (ed.), Letters of  John Marin (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press Publishers, 1970), n.p. CL Bayrd Still, Mirror for Gotham (New York: New York University Press, 1956), p. 257. 7 . . John Marin's catalogue statement reprinted in "Notes on "291"- Watercolors by John Marin," CW 42/43 (April- July 1913): 18. John Marin (in New York) to Alfred Stieglitz (in Europe), in Seligmann, Letters of John Marin, n.p. 9,,Photo-Secession Notes," CW 41 (January 1913): 26. ^It is very difficult to reconstruct Walkowitz's oeuvre for several reasons. Much of his early work was originally undated. Later in life the artist went back through his works and assigned them dates rather capriciously. As very little attention has been paid to Walkowitz in the literature these problems of dating have yet to be solved. For a discussion of the problem see Sheldon Reich, "Abraham Walkowitz: Pioneer of Early Modernism," The American Art Journal 3:1 (Spring 1971): 72-82. 25. U0scar Bluemner, "Walkowitz," CW 44 (October 1913): 12 Arthur Dove, letter written for Arthur Jerome Eddy, 1913. Quoted in Ann Lee Morgan, Arthur Dove: Life and Work, 80 with a Catalogue Raisonne (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1984), p. 39. 13 Arthur Dove, statement written for Samuel Kootz, 1930. Quoted in Morgan, Arthur Dove, pp. 106-7. 14 . . Hartley, in December 1912, wrote to Stieglitz from Paris complaining of "all these intellectual cataleptics": They are stimulating in some sense but they don't go much of anywhere. They are all in a bunch here, talking each other to madness, despising each others' work, sipping drinks together and smiling like children." (Quoted in Roxanna Barry, "The Age of Blood and Iron: Marsden Hartley in Berlin," Arts Magazine 54:3 (November 1979) : 166. ) 15 Marsden Hartley, letter of October 1912, to Stieglitz. Quoted in Haskell, Marsden Hartley, p. 27. ^Ibid . , p. 28 . 81 Conclusion By the time of the Armory Show of February and March of 1913 modernism had taken hold, if but a tentative one, in America. Whereas Stieglitz's gallery had remained the only one devoted to the continuous exhibition of modern art prior to 1913, between 1913 and 1918 thirty-four galleries and organizations held over 250 exhibitions in New York alone. Correspondingly, collectors began to invest in modern art. As 291 lost its exclusiveness, as modernism, in effect, moved out of his domain, Stieglitz appears to have lost the enthusiasm had previously felt; Camera Work was published with greater infrequency, colleagues moved away from him to set up their own gallery ond only four European artists were exhibited at 291 between 1913 and 1917. Furthermore, when Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp moved to New York during the war, it was not to Stieglitz that they gravitated. Finally in 1917 the gallery closed. During 1908 to 1913, however, modernism in America remained defined by Stieglitz and his colleagues and artists at 291. As we have seen, it was originally intended to function as a critique of American society— its preoccupation with materialism, its insistence upon propriety and the repression of passion and its unquestioning insistence upon the 'reality', the inevitability of the logical, practical and 82 and certain. 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Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949. 97 Fig.4- Henri Matisse. Nude, c.1907. Watercolour. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949. 98 Fig.5- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Woman in Corset- Conquest  of Passage, 1896. lithograph, printed in colour. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1946. 99 Fig.6- Alfred H. Maurer. Woman vith Hat, 1907. oil on canvas. University of Nebraska Art Galleries, Lincoln. Bertha Schaefer Bequest. 100 Fig.7- John Marin. Mills and Bridge, Meaux, 1907. watercolour. Estate of John Marin. Marlborough Gallery, Inc., New York. 101 Fig.8- Marsden Hartley. Cosmos, 1908-9. Columbus Museum of Art. Gift of Ferdinand Howald. 102 Fig.9- Marsden Hartley. The Dark Mountain, 1909. The Art Institute of Chicago. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection. 103 Fig.10- John Marin. From the Window of 291 Looking Down  Fifth Avenue, 1912. watercolour. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 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