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Artists in exile : the great flight of culture Semerjian, Victor 1990

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ARTISTS IN E X I L E : T H E G R E A T F L I G H T O F C U L T U R E By VICTOR SEMERJIAN B.A., Y o r k University, 1976 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Fine Arts) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A September 1990 ©Victor Semerjian, 1990  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  University  of  British  Columbia, I agree  available for  copying  of  department publication  this or of  reference  thesis by  this  for  his thesis  and study. scholarly  or for  her  financial  of  The University of British C o l u m b i a Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  (3rfdper- 199Q  the  requirements that  I further agree that  purposes  may  representatives.  permission.  Department  of  gain  It  shall not  be  the  advanced  Library shall make  by  understood be  an  permission for  granted  is  for  allowed  the that  without  it  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  ABSTRACT  The subject of this thesis is the circumstances surrounding the emigration of European modern artists to America in the late 1930's and early 1940's, and their initial reception in the city of New York. The primary vehicle of this investigation will be the Artists in Exile show, their first collective exhibition which took place at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in March of 1942. The reason why it is felt that such an investigation is warranted is that while there is a great deal of literature concerned with the Nazis vehement denunciation of modern art and their persecution of its practitioners, little has been written on how these artists actually came to arrive in America. It is I believe, too often assumed that while their voyage may have been a difficult one, they were embraced by a nation that has perpetually proclaimed itself as a defender of democratic freedom and a haven for the oppressed.  Contrary to  this assumption, it will be asserted that their initial presence was largely met with resistance in America due to a historical period of economic, social, political and cultural isolationism. In Chapter One, an attempt will be made to more clearly define the historical circumstances which gave rise to American isolationism and a resultant anti-alienism, sentiments which had a direct bearing upon the cool reception of the Europeans and their work.  Given the existance of such attitudes, it becomes  necessary as well to identify the various groups who championed the artist refugees, their motives in doing so, and the specific strategies employed to circumvent native resistance in order to bring these individuals to North American shores. It will be asserted that this support came from a small group of liberals situated within northeastern educational institutions who were alarmed by the fascist threat to freedom of scholary and artistic expression. In addition, they were motivated by  -ii-  what they believed to be an unprecedented opportunity to bring to America and place at its disposal, superior levels of European scholarly and artistic achievement. Chapter Two will undertake an investigation into the reception of the Europeans in New Y o r k based upon an analysis of the problematic usage of catagories employed to place them in roles reflective of their circumstances. These terms include refugee, emigre, immigrant, exile, and alien. In addition, it will hopefully be revealed how these new roles had a deleterious effect upon the self perception of the emigres, seriously affecting their critical output as exiles. Chapter Three will be devoted to the Artists in Exile show itself. Specific focus will be on the strategies employed in its manifesto and why for the most part, they were unsuccessful in winning over a viewing public largely resistant to European modern art.  In addition, specific works exhibited in the show will be  analysed to see how they registered the varied concerns of the artist emigres at this time in history. Finally, the conclusion will deal with two additional shows of European modern art in that same year; the First Papers of Surrealism, and Peggy Guggenheim's A r t of This Century.  It will be maintained that the strategies  employed in this latter show were to a high degree, largely responsible for the eventual winning over of needed patrons necessary for the acceptance continuation of European modern art in America.  -iii-  and  T A B L E OF CONTENT  ABSTRACT  ii  LIST O F I L L U S T R A T I O N S  v  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  vi  INTRODUCTION  1  C H A P T E R O N E : T H E POLITICS O F R E S C U E  6  C H A P T E R TWO: T H E SEMANTICS OF E X I L E  27  C H A P T E R T H R E E : T H E ARTISTS IN E X I L E S H O W  45  CONCLUSION: A C O N Y ISLAND CONSCIOUSNESS  82  ENDNOTES  87  ILLUSTRATIONS  103  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  115  -iv-  LIST O F I L L U S T R A T I O N S Figure 1.  Page Isolationists in New York demonstrating against American involvement in World War Two  103  2.  Group photograph accompanying the Artists in Exile show  104  3.  Max Ernst, Europe After the Rain. 1940-1942  105  4.  Pavel Tchelitchew, The Green Lion. 1942  106  5.  Jacques Lipchitz, The Rape of Europa II. 1938  107  6.  Jacques Lipchitz, Rape of Europa. 1936  108  7.  Andre Breton, Poem-Object. Portrait of the Actor A . B  109  8.  Andre Breton, Poem-Object. 1934  110  9.  Piet Mondrian, Composition. 1935-1942  Ill  10.  The First Papers of Surrealism exhibition  112  11.  The interior space of Peggy Guggenheim's exhibition A r t of This Century A n illustrative page from the A r t of This Century catalogue  113 114  12.  -v-  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank D r . Serge Guilbaut for his encouragement and guidance, and for his willingness to patiently listen to my ideas and engage them in a critically constructive way. I would also like to thank John O'Brian for his insightful comments and his assistance in helping me formulate my thoughts i n a more precise fashion. Special thanks are due to a supportive group of graduate students and other friends, specifically, Dorinda Neave, Barry Shell, Wes Friesen, Mary Jane Cowan, Andrea Thomsett, David Howard, Maureen Lunn, T i m Maraun, and Allan Langdale.  -vi-  INTRODUCTION  The Artists In Exile show which took place in New Y o r k at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in March of 1942 announced a transitional and hence significant moment in the history of modern twentieth century art. Its works, group photo, and accompanying manifesto declared that as a result of fascist persecution overseas, Europe's most eminent practioners of modern art were now collectively residing in America. These included Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Andre' Masson, Piet Mondrian, Roberto Matta, Andre Breton, Ferdinand Leger, Jaques Lipchitz, Yves Tanguy, Kurt Seligmann, Ossip Zadkine, Pavel Tchelitchew, Amedee Ozenfant and Eugene Berman.  But the show in its entirety was not simply an announcement of this  unprecedented occasion. Its manifesto proposed that due to the immediate threat posed to European modern art, it should not only be harbored in America, but perpetuated as well by implanting it into the body of American culture. In addition, the presence of these artists was enthusiastically heralded as an opportunity for the beginnings  of a new  international art  movement  centered  in New York.  Considering the contemporary notoriety of those who appeared in the Artists in Exile show, and especially in view of the profound effect that their practices had upon the direction of American art, it might be assumed that their presence and the manifesto's proposals would have been initially met with approbation.  Certainly  there is little in the available art historical material to suggest otherwise. However, an investigation of that initial moment of entry and the events that led up to it, reveals that America was in fact fundamentally opposed to the bringing of these artists, or any other political refugees, inside its own national borders.  This  unwillingness, it will be asserted, was defined by a period in American history of social, political, economic and cultural isolationism resulting in widespread anti-  -1-  alien sentiment. Therefore, any suggestion that foreign artistic practices be grafted on to American culture, was cooly received by public and critics alike. If this thesis is proposing that America was reluctant to serve as a safe haven, the question arises as to how it came about that so many of the European modern artists even came to reside on North American shores. What will be proposed is that the undertakings to liberate refugee artists and other members of the European intelligentsia were initiated by only a handful of interest groups in an atmosphere inimical to such actions. These originated in the early 1930's in response to the expulsion of scholars from their posts at German universities and to the subsequent persecution of modern artists. A perception arose in America that all of Western culture epitomized by its highest levels of artistic and academic achievement was under siege, and ought to be rescued by allowing its practioners to emigrate. Principally, this source of concern came from within northeastern  American  educational and cultural institutions centered in and around New York.  Also  apprehensive was a liberal minority in the American government alarmed by the spread of fascism in Europe and its potential threat to the rest of free world. Although constrained by a period of political neutrality and isolationism they offered what assistance they could in facilitating the rescue of intellectual refugees. While a liberal posturing on the part of all those involved was informed by a concern for the state of democracy in Europe and the threat posed to international freedom of expression, it certainly did not go unnoticed that these dismissals and expulsions offered an unprecedented opportunity to bring to America and place at its disposal a wide and varied sampling of Europe's finest artistic and scholarly pursuits believed to be at a level far above those of their own. Opportunism as a motive became especially relevant after the fall of Paris in June of 1940. A t that moment it became clear that the rescuing and successful replantation of the Europeans would likely assure the ascendance of America, and particularly New  -2-  York, to a position of world cultural domination.  However, what may have  appeared as an opportunity to these groups was not regarded as such by the majority of Americans. Therefore, what must be accounted for are the circumstances which gave rise to this recalcitrance and the various strategies employed to circumvent it. While it the position of this thesis that isolationist and anti-alien sentiment played a crucial role in America's reluctance to intervene on behalf of the European refugee intelligentsia, an area of particular concern is the specific prejudice faced by the artist emigres due to the nature of their practices.  In Europe fascism had  imbued modern art with oppositional qualities, denouncing and exploiting its deviation from naturalistic representation as evidence of the degenerate culture of the "other". When the artist emigres arrived in America where there had been no real tradition of avant-garde art, their varied methodologies were again widely met with opposition due to their difficulty in approachability.  Existing anti-alien  sentiment combined with this native resistance to modern art required a stratagem to win over the needed critics and patrons in order to secure New York's position as the new world center of international avant-garde practice.  Evidence of a  systematic approach was unmistakably present in the Artists in Exile show.  Its  manifesto attempted to surmount an aversion to European modern art by elevating its preservation to an issue of considerable political importance. With America now at war with Germany, it was proposed that the continuance of modern art, condemned and pursued by the enemy itself, would be an act of patriotism and collective defiance. This is not to say that these appeals can be reduced to mere ploys. The defence of free scholarly and artistic expression was at this moment, an issue of paramount importance. Yet it will be maintained that the shows manifesto was formulated in anticipation of a resistance to the works exhibited.  What  becomes of importance for this thesis then, is the precise structuring of these appeals and an analysis of why they largely failed to win over a viewing public.  -3-  Inevitably, this exploration must return to the issue of opportunism as a motivating force.  As has been stated, there were those who wished to see the  inauguration of a new international art movement centered in the city of New York. While patriotic appeals were employed in an attempt to win over critics and patrons, they were not sufficiently compelling in and of themselves to accomplish the task. What was required was an approach more suited to a pragmatic American audience. Thus in the show's manifesto, the collective presence of the exiled Europeans was promoted as a virtual windfall for American artists and patrons, a chance for their country to be catapulted into a position of world cultural dominance. In their efforts to present  the Europeans in the best light possible, the shows organizers  questionably presented diverse artistic positions as complimentary parts of a common movement prestigiously declared as the "Paris School." This appellation sounds suspiciously like the "School of Paris", a term which has absolutely no relevance in regards to the Surrealists who as a group, made up the bulk of the artist emigres. Once again though, such an approach must not wholly be considered as a ruse. A part of this investigation will consider how the circumstances of persecution and exile actually facilitated a collective perception of intellectuals of diverse positions.  This aggregate depiction was precipitated by the Nazi's seemingly  indiscriminate rejection of European high culture whereby the practioners of varied disciplines were divested of their autonomy by being forced together as political refugees. Loss of individuality was further perpetuated by liberal American interest groups who lacking an in-depth understanding of these varied practices, perceived and promoted them as a persecuted collective. Finally, throughout this thesis the main focus will be on the true subjects of this story: the artist emigres themselves. Physically and mentally debilitated by the hardships of persecution, and deeply indebted to the liberal groups and individuals who rescued many of them directly from the Nazis, they were hardly in a position to  -4-  openly and systematically confront the way in which they were being represented in America. Y e t in spite of this debilitation, they must never be regarded as passive or neutralized agents.  While their critical output was restrained, they and the  disparate nature of their works, many of which were executed or completed in America, asserted an oppositional presence in the Artists in Exile show that its organizers best efforts simply could not surmount.  Many of these works also  revealed the exiles preoccupation with, and a need to engage current historical events with which they were so intimately tied. In some cases this concern was so great, that it caused deviations from previous orthodox practices. To substantiate this claim, an investigation will be undertaken into five works exhibited in the Artist in Exile show; Andre Breton's Poem-Object. Portrait of the Actor A.B.  of 1941, Max  Ernst's Europe After the Rain of 1940-1942, Jacques Lipchitz's Rape of Europa II of 1938, Pavel Tchelitchew's The Green Lion, and Piet Mondrian's Composition of 1935-1942. In the hope of exploring this and indeed many other aspects of exile, this thesis will examine the psychology and the reception of the emigres through an analysis of the often problematic usage of catagories employed to place them in roles reflective of their circumstances.  These terms include that of the refugee,  emigre, immigrant, exile, and alien. It is believed that such an approach will yield greater insight into the many social, political, economic and cultural factors that formed the historical moment in which the Artists in Exile show sought to transplant European high culture on North American shores.  -5-  Chapter One The Politics of Rescue  When news of the mass dismissals of scholars from their posts at German universities reached America in the early 1930's, influential members within the educational community, either singularly or jointly, assembled lists of the most celebrated and embarked upon campaigns to bring them across the Atlantic. A s Laura Fermi in her text Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration from Europe 1930-1942 states, "Many universities recognized at once their double opportunity: they could come out strongly for academic freedom and at the same time enlarge their staffs with the most eminent men from Europe."  1  But what  initially may have appeared to be both a noble enough cause and a genuine opportunity, was met with a great deal of opposition during period in American history that can only be described as isolationist. This isolationism was based on a preoccupation with internal domestic affairs due to the depression and massive unemployment.  In addition, America was unwilling, especially after World War  One, to become entangled once more in European political affairs. This reluctance to become involved was clearly manifested in a restrictive immigration system. As Rogier Daniels points out in his essay "American Refugee Policy in Historical Perspective", the term refugee did not even appear in American immigration law until 1934, and when it was finally included, it failed to address the circumstances of this group by continuing to treat them as immigrants. As such they were expected 2  to pay for their own passage to America and once having arrived, were required to financially support themselves for a period of five years so as not to become wards of the state. While some refugees did have the necessary funds or had relatives in America support them, the vast majority did not.  -6-  These constraints provided a  major obstacle to those who wished to utilize the immigration system as a means of procuring refugee scholars, and eventually, persecuted artists. Legally treating the refugee as an immigrant served effectively to erect what David S.  Wyman calls, "a paper wall".  3  This disinclination to liberalize  immigration policy was based squarely upon popular sentiment in America at this time. Herbert A . Strauss in his essay "The Movement of People in a Time of Crisis" believes that the depression gave rise, in many countries including America, to right wing elements supported by trade unions who made manifest their unwillingness to deal with the refugee problem through protectionist policies. H e also maintains that the middle classes representing various professions were deeply concerned with any potential influx of refugees that might give rise to unwanted job competition.  4  In  addition, there was during the opening years of the decade, a belief that even though political persecution was an issue of some gravity, the free nations of Europe would offer sanctuary to its victims. France especially was regarded as the traditional giver of asylum to political refugees. There was an awareness in America that not all refugees were being expelled for holding political beliefs ideologically opposed to the Nazi party, but rather purely on the grounds of racial ancestry. The largest of these groups were the Jews, the primary focus of a virulent propaganda campaign which labelled them as racially inferior and promoted them as the scapegoat for all of Germany's economic woes. Theories of Nordic Supremacy were, though, not exclusive to Hitler's fascist regime. In 1924 less than ten years before the refugee crisis began in Europe, American Vice President Calvin Coolidge published an article entitled "Whose Country is This?" in which he asserted the supremacy of the white races.  His fundamental  claim was that "inter-marriage between Nordics and other groups produced deteriorated offspring." While it might be objected that attitudes do change over 5  the years, Myron C. Taylor, a governmental spokesman on refugees, declared in a  -7-  radio address on November 25, 1938, "Our plans do not involve the flooding of this or any other country with aliens of any race or creed."  6  This anti-alien racist  sentiment was aggravated by Hitler's global propaganda against the Jews during the 1930's and 1940's. His campaign provided a catalyst for American white supremist and extreme right wing groups such as the K . K . K . , the American Nationalist party, the Christian Front group, the America First party, and the Bund or The German American Peoples League.  These groups, encouraged by native anti-alien  sentiment, felt confident enough to deliver their racist diatribes in the out of doors.  7  Thus it was in this oppressive atmosphere of political isolationism, economic depression, and anti-alienism, that efforts arose within the academic community to bring to America and position within its educational system, those who would carry with them a cultural baggage perceived as the paradigmatic expression of international Western scholarship. This would be a formidable task. "Hitler is my best friend. H e shakes the tree and I collect the apples." This 8  statement by Walter Cook of the Institute of Fine Arts in New York might at first be condemned as obscenely opportunistic when considering in hindsight the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Though it remains opportunistic, it must be noted that fascist aggression in the early 1930's was still largely contained within Germany's borders. This consideration is not meant to absolve America's reluctance in dealing with political refugees, but only that it is more profitable to place Cook's declaration within a historical context.  His perception and that of others in the academic  community was that unemployed scholars representing the highest levels of academic achievement had fled into the rest of Europe, and could be approached with offers of employment. This desire as has been discussed was met with a great deal of resistance.  Even amongst the universities, there were many opposed to  bringing foreign scholars to America at a time when its own Ph.D.s. could not find positions.  -8-  One particularly noteworthy attempt to transplant European talent in America was that initiated by Alvin Johnson of the New School for Social Research in New York. Perceiving correctly that whereas a campaign proposing to bring mass numbers of political refugees would be rejected both by government and public alike, the creation of a small special branch institution devoted to the preservation of European high culture on American soil, might succeed.  O n May 13, 1933,  Johnson announced the opening of a graduate school, aptly named the University in Exile.  The fund raising notice which appeared in the New Y o r k Times entitled  "Faculty of Exiles is Projected Here", was a direct appeal to liberal sentiment and Jewish philanthropy. It stressed the advantages of having such eminent scholars at America's disposal, proposing that."the hiring as instructors, fifteen Jewish and liberal professors recently ousted from German universities . . . would attract students who otherwise might have been tempted to go to Germany for their education."  9  This proposal is one that epitomizes the motivational response that  Fermi mentions, that is, to profit upon ones altruism.  Once again though, this  opportunism must be more carefully considered. Firstly, while the advancement of the academic system and indeed that of their own institutions was of interest to individuals like Cook and Johnson, their humanitarian concerns must not be ignored.  Secondly, opportunism was not simply a motivational factor but a  necessary tactic promoting the advantages to be gained by allowing these men to emigrate.  Appeals made strictly on a humanitarian basis would never have been  sufficient to overcome isolationist convictions.  10  One of the questions that arises out of these initiatives was the basis upon which the selection of specific individuals was made. Since American immigration law prohibited a mass influx of refugees, and these private initiatives had limited funds to support people initially excluded from governmental support, the selection process necessitated careful deliberation. The assembled lists were drawn up by  -9-  experts in various academic fields in an attempt to ensure that only the finest of minds would be approached with offers of positions in America. This was at times a difficult task since the quality and the nature of specific European scholars work was often unknown in America.  Some of these individuals had previously visited  America or were known to American scholars living abroad and hence their selection was based upon what Fermi refers to as a "personal factor."  11  Another way  in which this unfamiliarity was overcome, was to encourage exiles who had already been placed in academically weak departments to recommend other scholars who might join them.  12  While America's inaction in the early thirties may have been based upon a perception that the refugee problem was not serious enough to warrant the liberalization of immigration laws, after 1938 with the Nazi invasion of Austria and Czechoslovakia, it became obvious that there were now vast numbers of refugees in dire need of assistance. America and the free nations of the world, however, did little in response. This failure on America's part to address the circumstances of the refugee was a charge found in the literature of the time. In an article written in 1939 entitled "Status of the Refugee Under American Immigration Laws", Read Lewis and Marian Schibsby stated: "Although asylum for the oppressed is one of the oldest and most honored of American traditions, it has not been written into immigration law. With the exception of the literacy test, the refugee must meet the same requirements as any other immigrant".  13  It would be unfair though, to  characterize the entire membership of the American government as unsympathetic. There were, although in the minority, growing numbers of liberals concerned with the victims of fascist aggression. Many within this group also believed that Nazi expansionist policy presented a direct threat to global political and economic security and might have to be curbed through the use of military force. One of these individuals was the President himself, Franklin D . Roosevelt who saw the refugee  -10-  problem as an issue that could turn world attention towards the political scene in Europe. In July of 1938, an intergovernmental gathering, one known as the Evian Conference, assembled to deal with the growing numbers of European refugees. This international conference called by Roosevelt, seemed at first to offer hope to international  culturalists, and  indeed  liberalization of the immigration system.  all groups 14  in America  wishing  the  Even Roosevelt at this time seemed to  have been primarily concerned with the plight of the refugees.  Wyman in his text  alludes to Roosevelt's humanitarian concerns stating ". . . consideration of the political realities of 1938 points to the conclusion that Roosevelt stood to lose more by taking the lead in calling the conference than he could gain."  15  While Wyman  feels that the President was given moral support by groups of liberals and Jews, he writes:". . . there was crucial support to be lost especially amongst isolationists and restrictionists . . ." H e states that the general public was as well opposed to Roosevelt's attempts to liberalize immigration laws. In July of 1938 the same year that the Evian conference took place, a Fortune poll revealed that 67.4 percent wished the refugees kept out of America, and that only 18.5 percent took a position similar to Roosevelt's of allowing refugees in under existing immigration quotas.  16  While the conference itself was met with enthusiasm, attended by all invited with the exception of Italy, virtually no measures were taken to directly alleviate the refugee problem. A s Erika Mann and Eric Estorick wrote in 1939: In summation, the outstanding result of the Evian conference seemed to be a general agreement on the part of all concerned that something should be done; but since no official (with, it should be noted, the honorable exception of President Roosevelt who at least called such a conference) was willing to assume the burden of action, nothing was done. 17  -11-  After the fall of France in June of 1940, it became apparent that this nation which many Americans had regarded as an international safe haven for political refugees could no longer function in this capacity. Its invasion set in motion a mass exodus of refugees into its unoccupied south.  The port of Marseilles became  deluged with those hoping to somehow gain passage on a ship to the Americas. The urgency of this situation was greatly amplified by a clause within the armistice which Marshall Petain had negotiated with the Germans designated as Article 19.  It  declared that: ". . . the French government is obliged to surrender on demand, all Germans named by the German government in France, as well as in French possessions,  colonies, protectorate  territories,  and mandates.  The French  government binds itself to prevent removal of German and civil prisoners from France into French possessions or into foreign countries."  18  A t first the Germans  were only interested in the Greater Reich, that is to say Germans, Austrians, Czechs and many Poles, but this was shortly extended to include anybody the German government wanted. Yet in spite of this declaration, the American government still negligently refused to liberalize its immigration policy in order to make allowances for thousands of persecuted individuals now rendered extremely vulnerable by being driven into a confined area. If anything, the worse the situation became in Europe, the more hesitant America was in becoming involved. The rescuing of individuals wanted by the Nazis would have been a direct act of intervention in contradiction to America's position of neutrality. Again, while there were sympathetic individuals in the government, they were by far, in the minority. Isolationism was perhaps at its strongest in 1940, since the slightest hint of intervention would almost surely have meant going to war. [fig. 1] Nevertheless, there were those who were still convinced that a liberalized immigration system offered a non-militaristic means of rescue. Their position was that there was nothing in international law indicating that the raising of money on behalf of refugees and supporting them once they arrived, in  -12-  any way constituted an act of intervention. Standing firmly upon this conviction, various groups in light of the urgency of the situation in France and the idleness of neutral countries, began stepping up their efforts to bring European scholars to America. Prompted by France's demise, and his previously successful campaign for the University in Exile, Alvin Johnson took action. • H e set up yet another division within the New School called the Ecole Libre des Hautes Etudes, devoted this time to the preservation of French culture on American soil.  Unlike the U.I.E., the  Ecole was to function as a-more independent school, conducting its classes solely in French. It was hoped that the U.I.E. and the Ecole would enhance the New School and the American educational system by making available to students, the highest levels of international European scholarship.  19  But perhaps the greatest incentive  to Johnson and others within America's cultural institutions at this point in history, was the realization that now that France had fallen, America would likely become the inheritor of the entire tradition of Western European culture.  Y e t not all  expressions of this refugee culture had been brought to American shores. European modern art was for the most part, still trapped in the south of France. The bringing of refugee scholars to America during this period of massive economic depression necessitated well planned strategies advocating the benefits of employing them within American educational institutions. N o such appeals could be made on behalf of other political refugees such as labour, political or religious leaders, musicians and modern artists. This lack of marketability was a particularily serious obstacle in the negotiations for visas for the latter group, whose practices were generally unpopular in America. Thus in an attempt to extricate them, their supporters, aware that political internationalism was growing, began insisting that the government aid individuals specifically wanted by the Nazis, on the basis of democratic solidarity. Hamilton Fish Armstrong, then editor of Foreign Affairs and  -13-  a member of the Presidents Advisory Committee on Political Refugees (P.A.C.), sent a telegram to the White House on June 18th 1940 that suggested the government begin diplomatic missions to offer sanctuary to persecuted antifascists.  20  O n June 21, he sent an additional telegram with a list of specific notables  that he believed to be i n particular danger.  21  The pleas were accompanied by moral  affidavits assuring that these individuals were not politically hostile to America, guarantees that they would be supported by private donations Department acted with an uncharacteristic swiftness.  22  The State  It immediately wired its  consulates in Marseilles, Lisbon and Bordeaux, instructing them to issue emergency visas to those on Armstrong's list. P . A . C . however, was not the only organization presenting the government with lists. Soon all sorts of private groups including the A . F . L . , the Jewish Labour committee, and various other religious and professional groups began to pressure the government to issue emergency visas on behalf of selected individuals and  2 3  By July 19, the government faced with a deluge of requests,  harassment from these groups, each accusing it of favoritism, began to  reconsider its position. Those still opposed to the admittance of refugees became increasingly alarmed by the growing number of lists, and their xenophobia was aggravated by Fascist propaganda which labelled  all political refugees  as  undesirables and subversives. A s a result, lists began to be scrutinized far more carefully, and the government insisted that P . A . C .  now function as a screening  board. It was instructed to check every name on each list i n regards to character, political leaning and specific purpose for applying for sanctuary i n America. After P . A . C . forwarded the names of the potential emigres to the Department of Justice, each was checked against any information on file. Once cleared at this level, it was passed on to the State Department who carried out additional background checks against any records it had. Finally, it was this latter department which determined if the person i n question had sufficient cause to emigrate to America  -14-  2 4  The pressure on the government from these private interest groups rapidly led to the filling up of refugee quotas allowed under immigration law. Faced with this shortage and mounting pressure, the government implemented a plan which at first seemed to offer new hope for the political refugee. Given the exhaustion of the more permanent immigration visas, the government turned to the use of visitors visas, documents which had no numerical limitations. Yet the restrictions affixed to these documents, failed once again, to specifically address the circumstances of the refugee. The visitors visas were issued only to those who could prove that they fully intended to return to their place of residence after six months. The predicament here was obvious since the likelihood of this occurring was virtually nonexistent. The government eventually yielded to pressure, but while the length of stay was extended to an indeterminable one, these visas were still issued sparingly . It was 2 5  principally due to this now hopelessly encumbered immigration policy that a group based i n New York, aptly named the Emergency Rescue Committee, began to formulate a more aggressive strategy to extricate political refugees at a time when swift action was imperative. The Emergency Rescue Committee which formed in June of 1940 was yet another response from the educational community.  26  But this time, they were  joined by members of other organizations anxious to save known anti-fascists. These included the American Federation of Labour who wished to rescue union leaders, and concerned German and Jewish organizations. The E . R . C was also backed by the Museum of Modern A r t fearful for the lives of modern artists many of whom were on the Nazi "hit list." The M . O . M . A , apart from a few small galleries, was one of the few supporters of European modernist art, and the situation overseas offered  an unparalleled opportunity to bring to America it's most  famous  practioners. The museum immediately began its own fund raising project. A s Irene Patai wrote i n her biography of Jacques Lipchitz: "The Museum of Modern A r t was  -15-  vouching for those on their lists and was raising the money (around four hundred dollars) for each to effect his escape and passage out of Lisbon."  27  Once again lists  were drawn up and the committee circulated a fund raising pamphlet entitled "Wanted By The Gestapo: Saved By America", a direct solicitation of growing liberal anti-fascist sentiment.  28  Due to the steep competition for visas and the governments restrictive measures, the members of the E . R . C . took their lists directly to Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington who was known, as was her husband, to be sympathetic to such efforts.  29  With her help, and following the stringent checks and extensive  guarantees, visas were issued and sent to the American Consulates overseas which served as distribution points. But the E.R.C.'s problems were far from over. After the fall of France and the issuance of Article 19, many of the individuals on these lists went into hiding, having no idea that visas had been issued on their behalf. It was due to this critical situation and the frustration with the inaction on the part of the government, that the E . R . C . finally decided to take matters into its own hands by sending a selected individual directly into the midst of the chaotic state of affairs in Marseilles to rescue those in deep peril. This operation came dangerously close to an act of intervention. The man chosen to lead the E.R.C.'s rescue mission was Varian Fry, a young classics graduate. This selection was based upon his knowledge, albeit a limited one, of foreign affairs acquired through his editorship at the Foreign Policy Association. H e was also the editor of two liberal publications, Common Sense and The Living Age and also a contributing editor at the New R e p u b l i c .  30  In a book  written later by Fry entitled Surrender on Demand, he declared his own convictions as identical with those of the E . R . C . H e in fact opened his book with an almost definitive statement of the liberal internationalist position. H e wrote:  -16-  This is the story of an experiment in democratic solidarity. I had seen the democratic governments of Europe go down one by one . . . and I was convinced that if democracy was to endure at all, it would have to become internationally minded . . . Ever since the French Revolution and in fact even before, France had been the haven for European exiles. Whenever a change of government in another land or invasion by a foreign power had obliged men to flee for their lives, France had opened her arms to them. 31  Fry's stance was that now that France had fallen, America must assume this position of a infinitely tolerant safe haven in which disparate views would be tolerated. America's response, Fry wrote, was based upon the belief that "democrats must help democrats and like the members of the committee, I believed in the importance of democratic solidarity." . While this idealism may have partially served to fuel the 32  committee's noteworthy efforts, it betrays a liberal naivete in regards to both France's and America's historical tolerance of foreign, disparate, and oppositional attitudes.  This would immediately become apparent when the political refugees,  carrying with them their literary and artistic practices, entered into a state of exile in America. In addition, Fry's liberalist conception, or rather misconception, about the varied aspects of the culture which he and the E . R . C .  were attempting to  collectively rescue and safeguard would also prove to be a hindrance to its continuance in New York. For various liberalist groups such as the E . R . C , the motivational basis for their efforts, whether based upon altruism, opportunism, or more likely both, was primarily rooted in the assumption that scholarly and artistic practice, collectively conceived of as culture, represented  the definitive zone of autonomous  and  unfettered human activity. However, this position was not simply a liberalist one but was shared by the left as well. This accord is not at all surprising since the perception of artistic practice as the form of uncoerced unalienated human activity is deeply imbedded in the tradition of Western philosophy, found in the writings of Schiller, Kant, Hegel and Marx. There were of course vital distinctions between  -17-  these individuals on this point, just as there were in 1940. But at this latter date, given the threat posed by fascism, and the shared anxiety and desire to bring these practices to America, the differences while existent, seemed unimportant next to the immediate task at hand. Yet the presence of a dialogue between the American left and liberals at this time in regards to the emigrating European intelligentsia, must be dealt with.  To this end, the writings of three individuals shall briefly be  considered; those of Alfred J. Noch, Clement Greenberg, and Varian Fry. While Noch may not be considered a well known literary figure, an article written in 1939 entitled "Culture Migrates to the U.S.A.", found in American Mercury, offers insight into the American left's misgivings in regards to an emigrating European culture. Its direct engagement of Fry's liberal optimism about America's capacity to serve as a safe haven, makes it a valuable dialogical document. H e wrote: The most important movement of our time, infinitely more important than the whole sum of intrigues, connivings, threats, lies, and general swineries which are the "news" of the period . . . (is) the great westward migration of European culture, and the effort to transplant it in this hemisphere . . . .The long and short of the situation seems to be that we are fast falling heir to a couple of thousand years of civilization, whether we will or no . . . We have, then the responsibility of choosing whether we shall welcome it as a windfall or resent it as alien and un-American. The latter has been our traditional attitude. 33  Noch's statements reveals his awareness of America's inevitable inheritance and the isolationist mood of the time. It also exemplifies the conflation of varied disciplines under an all encompassing concept of culture which was now emigrating to America. But his concern over the future of European high culture was not simply due to the existence of isolationist sentiment. Noch perceived the American middle classes as typically "vulgar" and "materialistic". H e wrote: "Under these conditions it is far  -18-  from clear how well this implantation of culture can succeed in taking root in our society . . . essentially barbarous and therefore inimical to culture."  34  While Noch acknowledges the direct "effort" to transplant European culture in America, he regards its "migration" as more the direct result of a historical imperative informed by dialectical forces, a concept which is generally not found in liberalist ideology.  But just as liberalism sought to justify through its ideology  motives of an opportunistic nature, Noch's position as well seeks to rationalize the reestablishment of European culture in America. H e conceives of culture as being generated from, and dependant upon specific social, political and economic conditions.  A dialectical relationship existed whereby those same conditions  constantly thwarted culture's own evolvement towards autonomy, driving it from one civilized center to another, seeking out new social, economic, and political conditions conducive towards its own freedom. Noch writes: In time past, as now, economic and political pressure has repeatedly destroyed their centers of activity and squeezed them out to form another center somewhere else. Thus the center of culture moved from Babylonia to Assyria, from Asia to Europe, from Greece to Rome, and so on. In the last century culture established its headquarters on the Atlantic seaboard; and now, apparently, its next general establishment will be on this side of the Atlantic, unless conditions forbid its taking root here. Such a movement is strictly historical; . . . A t long intervalslong as the life of men or nations goes~the center of culture has regularly shifted from region to region . . . in deference to two basic human wants, one spiritual and one economic; the proponents of culture want to exercise their several arts and practices in peace and freedom and they also want to eat. 35  Perceived as such, current historical circumstances presented a major crisis in the history of culture.  Fascism had in Noch's view, almost totally eradicated the  conditions under which culture could flourish in Europe, and social, cultural, political and economic conditions in America where not conducive towards its  -19-  implantation there. In 1939, the wealth of an international culture accumulated over centuries of emigration, seemed to have nowhere to go. While Noch's views are of value in that they correctly anticipate the lack of understanding and resistance to European modernist culture, they exhibit a certain leftist heavy handedness when dealing with the tastes of the American middle classes. A leftist critique which offers a deeper level of insight into the state of American culture is found in the writings of the literary and art critic Clement Greenberg. Greenberg, an influential member of the New Y o r k art scene, was a avid supporter of European avant-garde art. While it must be noted that he was primarily interested in abstraction in painting, which he regarded as the eventual outcome of its evolution towards self-referentiality, and hence its own autonomy, Greenberg was concerned about the future of all modernist culture at this time. This apprehension was vigorously voiced in two articles; "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" in 1939, and "Towards A Newer Laocoon" in 1940. Greenberg like Noch viewed culture as a sphere of human activity striving towards its own autonomy through a dialectical relationship with the social, political, and most importantly, economic realm. This evolution was manifested in each of discipline's development towards self-referentiality.  H e presented the history of  culture as an antagonistic relationship between the arts and a dominant patron class upon which it depended. This latter group Greenberg claimed, constantly thwarted culture's own drive towards independence, by inflecting it with ideology in an attempt to sustain its own position of dominance in the face of perpetual class struggle. However, with the rise of a confident, creative and innovative new class of patrons, the bourgeoisie, the individual arts began to be released from concerns of a purely ideological nature.  What was set in motion at that moment was an  irreversible course towards art's self purification.  -20-  While painting and indeed all art forms under the patronage of a small progressive segment of the bourgeoisie began to assert their own autonomy, this relationship Greenberg claimed, was far from ideal. A s long as the bourgeoisie remained confident, high art would continue to be supported and progress.  But  whenever the masses challenged class distinctions, avant-garde art was immediately cast into a position of vulnerability since its difficulty in approachability was a visible manifestation of class difference.  A s such, it was abandoned in favour of the  generating of various cultural forms aimed at appeasing rather than alienating the masses. A l l forms of this culture were contemptuously referred to by Greenberg as "kitsch", something imposed upon the masses, an opiate returning them to a state of complacency through its seductive ease of approachability. Kitsch in the 1930's, had primarily manifested itself in Europe in social realism, sanctioned as the state form of culture i n an attempt by the ruling classes to solidify their position in the face of massive economic and political upheaval. Fascists and Stalinists chose this latter form of artistic production resulting in "all talk of art for the masses . . . nothing but demagogy."  36  It is here that Greenberg's and Noch's concerns coincide.  High  culture at this chaotic time in world history was being driven out of Europe, jettisoned by the ruling classes to whom it once belonged. As was the case with Noch, Greenberg's seemingly objective historical analysis sought to validate its movement to America, the only place where it might be protected from current political disorder.  But its continuance was uncertain since in Greenberg's view  America had no real tradition of avant-garde culture, and kitsch was the dominant art form promoted by the plutocracy in order to ward off the disgruntlement of the masses during continual periods of capatalist crises.  Specific manifestations of  kitsch in America were singled out as ". . . commercial art and literature, magazine covers, illustrations, ads, slick and pulp fiction, comics, T i n Pan Alley music, tap dancing, Hollywood  movies, etc.,  etc.",  -21-  all popular  due  to  their  escapist  entertainment value. ' European avant-garde culture Greenberg's believed, stood 3  in direct opposition to American culture since its advanced evolution towards absolute  autonomy  had  manifested  itself  in works that were  often  non-  representational, difficult to understand, and certainly not designed for the purposes of diversion. Under these conditions, the winning over of a patron class needed to support the continuance of such practices seemed highly unlikely. While some may disagree with Greenberg's formalist theory, his assessment of American culture and the precise nature of the resistance that European avant-garde art would encounter posseses an astuteness generally absent in the writings of other American critics. What gives his evaluation of American cultural tastes and expectations a great deal of credence are the attitudes expressed by Varian Fry in reference to the varied aspects of European high culture that he was engaged in rescuing. Fry's position, as has been discussed, coalesced political and cultural internationalism. H e believed that freedom of scholarly and artistic expression had already been achieved in a liberal bourgeoise society, and therefore the defense of that existant freedom in America and in other democratic countries of the world was regarded as obligatory. Unlike Greenberg's position, there is no perception of an evolving set of practices essentially inimical to American cultural and economic traditions. This is not to say that Fry was unaware that European high culture would be met with resistance in America, but rather that he believed, unlike Greenberg, that the liberal enclave in New York whose beliefs and tastes he shared would be supportive of such practices.  But it was precisely the nature of those liberal  bourgeois tastes that lay at the heart of the dilemma as Greenberg saw it. The latter cared little for the cultural expectations and tastes of the masses. What concerned him were those of the educated middle classes upon whose patronage the continuance of avant-garde art depended.  Fry was an exemplary member of the  American bourgeoisie, a highly educated Harvard classics scholar, generally well  -22-  versed in cultural matters. But while Fry viewed artistic and scholarly practice as a zone of autonomous human activity, it was not valued as a sphere within which each art form attempted to assert its own self referentiality, nor was it seen as an avenue of independent oppositional expression as many of its avant-garde members such as Breton, Ernst, or Masson believed. For Fry, cultural production, including that of the avant-garde, was largely esteemed for its continued capacity to give pleasure. This is clearly evident in Fry's book where he states that worth rescuing were "artists and writers whose works I had enjoyed.  Novelists like Frans Werfel and Leon  Feuchtwanger; painters like Marc Chagall and Max Ernst; sculptors like Jacques Lipchitz . . . to them I owed a heavy debt of gratitude for the pleasure they had given me."  38  European high culture then, like all cultural forms in America, generated  expectations of enjoyment and entertainment. While Fry's liberal preconceptions would present an obstacle in regards to the initial acceptance and continued practices of the European avant-garde in America, of special interest at this point in the thesis is how these attitudes came to have a mitigating effect upon its activities even before many of its members arrived in America. This occurred due to an awareness on the part of those rescued that their freedom from fascist persecution was directly the result of efforts on the part of Fry and the liberal groups he represented, giving rise to a level of indebtedness that would restrain their critical output as exiles. Victor Serge wrote while in Marseilles: "Our mob of fugitives includes first rate brains from all those classes which have ceased to exist through the mere daring to say 'No!'".  39  H e goes on to write "If it had not been for Varian Fry's American  Relief Committee, a goodly number of refugees would have had no reasonable course open to them but to jump into the sea from the height of a transporter bridge, a certain enough method."  40  Serge was also aware that these efforts were  made in spite of the American government's imposed restrictions. H e states: ". . .  -23-  the long awaited visas are not here, still not here! This much can be said: because of their reactionary or bureaucratic leanings, most of the American republics have displayed neither humanity nor sense in their immigration policies.  Visas were  granted in the merest trickle in a manner so criminally stingy that thousands upon thousands of real victims, all fine human beings, were left to the mercies of the Nazis."  41  Indeed Serge was right. Throughout Fry's stay, he was constantly at odds  with the American government over his continued efforts to directly assist in any way possible, all political refugees. A brief narration of Fry's activities in Marseilles will hopefully serve to account for the deep sense of obligation that arose on the part of the European emigres. When news hit the streets in Marseilles in July of 1940, that Fry had arrived with visas and money for passage to America, he was immediately inundated with pleas from hundreds of trapped political refugees. This posed a dilemma since his limited resources were only to be directed towards selected individuals. H e set up a covert operation in Marseilles under the auspices of the Y . M . C . A . , called the Centre Americain de Secours that was simply to monitor the treatment of refugees.  42  In  this way Fry was not only able to make contact with those on his list, but also assist them in picking up their visas and arrange for their passage. A s Patai wrote: " H e had established the Centre Americain de Secours formally through legal channels, but his larger purpose was concealed as was the fact that he was buying the necessary papers and helping to smuggle refugees across the borders."  43  Fry and his  staff also established a safe halfway house located just outside Marseilles which became known as the V i l l a "Air-bel." It served as a temporary home for artists and intellectuals such as Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Andre Masson, Oscar Dominquez, Benjamin Peret, and many others.  44  Mary Jane Gold, an American living in Europe who became directly involved with Fry's operation in Marseilles, reports many instances of conflict between Fry  -24-  and the American government over his alleged illegal activities. - She states that 4  5  early in 1941 the State Department prompted by complaints from the Vichy government, sent a telegram to the American consulate in Marseilles expressing its disapproval. It read: Y o u should inform . . . M r . Fry in personal interviews immediately that while the state department is sympathetic to the plight of refugees and has authorized the consulates to give immediate and sympathetic consideration to their applications for visas this government cannot, repeat cannot countenance actions as reported of M r . Fry and other persons in their efforts of evading the laws of countries of which the United States retains friendly relations.  Clearly this document was an attempt to officially define the government's position in regards to Fry's direct intervention. It did not however, deter Fry. Now aware that his subterfuge was officially known, he escalated his activities realizing that he would eventually be asked to leave. H e immediately enlarged his staff, cabled New York for more money, and put increased pressure on the consulate for more visas.  47  As a result of Fry's stepped up activities in Marseilles, the Vichy government grew even more disgruntled. They now repeatedly complained about him to the American embassy and refused to issue letters of recommendation necessary for the renewal of both his French and Swiss visas. These complaints were channelled back through the State department directly to the E . R . C .  in New Y o r k who began to  wonder exactly what it was that Fry was up to. G o l d states: "Fry was plagued by the incomprehension of the New York office which influenced by reports from a now unfriendly State department and embassy at Vichy, kept urging him to come home."  48  She speculates that the E . R . C .  had little idea of the state of affairs in  Marseilles that necessitated some of Fry's procedures. In addition, there began an excessive in-fighting at the home office over Fry's supposed assistance to a much wider group than those on each of the lists. This lead the various interest groups to  -25-  believe that their best interests were not being served. Fry i n response to this growing opposition, countered on both sides of the Atlantic. H e sent a letter of protest to the government at Vichy accompanied by a list of the names of influential supporters he had cultivated i n France. This "Comite de Patronage" included three members of Petain's Conseil Nationale, the actress Franchise Rosay, Pablo Casals, George Duhanel, Aristide Maillol, and other well placed citizens.  In America,  Henry Luce, Mrs. John D . Rockefeller Jr., Edsel Ford, and the Trustees of the Museum of Modern A r t all came forward in support of Fry's continued presence in Marseilles.  49  However, pressure by the State department and the government of  Vichy eventually led to Fry's removal from French soil. In September of 1941, the French government arrested him with the approval of the American embassy, citing as cause, his direct aid to anti-Nazis and Jews.  50  After being escorted to the border  of France, Fry proceeded to Lisbon where he booked passage home to New York. His operation had handled over two thousand cases, sending over one thousand out of France by legal or illegal means. It intervened directly in releasing many refugees from jail and internment camps, and provided others with hiding places, false identities, or simply food and shelter. Some of those saved included Marc Chagall, Andre Breton, Benjamin Peret, Victor Serge, Andre Masson, Heinrich Mann, Jaques Lipchitz, Max Ernst, Wilhelm Herzog, and many others.  51  Their often  harrowing experience as persecuted political refugees, and the deep sense of indebtedness to those who rescued them, would come to shape the nature of their literary and artistic output as exiles in New Y o r k .  -26-  52  Chapter Two  The Semantics of Exile  In an article by Theodor Adorno entitled " A European Scholar i n America", he recalls his experience as an exile coming to New York in 1939. H e distills the complexities of felt emotions into an uneasy relationship between "autonomy and adjustment".  53  This phrase is one which succinctly captures the fundamental  dilemma of the emigres who Adorno refers to as, "those of whom it was expected that they would prove themselves in the new land not to be so haughty as to insist stubbornly on remaining what they had been before." H e reflects further on his own experience and writes: "I was full of gratitude for the deliverance from the catastrophe that was looming up as early as 1937." Yet i n spite of this indebtedness, he felt the need to assert some sense of self. H e states that "I was not about to give up my own individuality . . . the tension between these two impulses, may i n some degree, define how I related to my American experience."  54  Adorno in these  phrases seizes the essential elements which determined the often troubled relationship between the exiles and their American hosts; the exiles feelings of indebtedness, the need to maintain some sense of self in the face of adversity, and the antagonism that arose between this need and the Americans expectations of them as newcomers. Throughout the Europeans stay, specific terms were used which attempted to place them i n roles reflective of their circumstances. These designations include refugee, emigre' immigrant, exile and alien. While these categorizations with the exception of immigrant are appropriate i n a general way, there exists differences which forbid their absolute conflation. The lack of distinction when these categories were employed gave rise to various misunderstandings between this group and their American hosts. In addition, previous roles such as scholar, artist, musician, labour  -27-  or political leader were modified or even subverted by these new categorical roles. Thus a mitigation of previous roles occurred that reidentified the Europeans not only to others, but to themselves as well. In their text The Social Construction of Reality. A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Peter L . Berger and Thomas Luckmann take up this issue of the objectification and internalization of socially assigned roles concomitant with an individual's circumstance.  They write: "In the course of action there is an  identification of the self with the objective sense of the action; the action that is going on determines for that moment, the self apprehension of the actor, and does so in the objective sense of that has been socially ascribed to the action."  55  This self  identification with the implied meaning of the ongoing social role is however, not absolute but only partial. Berger and Luckmann state that while "a certain segment of the self is objectified in terms of the socially available typifications", the conscious being in its totality regards itself not only as distinct from, but as well opposite to, the socially assigned roles.  This is a phenomenon which they claim "allows an  internal 'conversation' between the different segments of the self."  56  What becomes  of interest to this paper then, is the circumstances and the constellation of meaning surrounding each of the newly socially assigned roles in question, and how the simultaneity of roles such as refugee scholar or artist emigre affected the psychology, behavior, work and the reception of the Europeans while in New York. The exiled scholars and artists who came to America during the period under discussion were, and still are constantly referred to as immigrants. While almost all of the Europeans had either immigration or temporary visitors visas, this latter designation is simply not relevant to their circumstances. The term immigrant is reserved for those who willfully move from one country to another, usually with intention of taking up permanent residence. Generally a great deal of consideration is given to the move, sometimes involving months of preparation.  -28-  Clearly these  conditions do not apply to most of the people with which this thesis is concerned. While it may be more flattering to think that this highly esteemed group of individuals came to America of their own choosing, this was simply not the case. Those rescued by Alvin Johnson, the Emergency Committee for Displaced Scholars and the E . R . C , were persecuted for ideological reasons. While vast numbers were expelled purely for their racial origins, many including those from this latter group, were either known anti-fascists or those who occupied positions likely to make them so. Scholars, writers, artists, musicians, labour, political and religious leaders, by virtue of their professional roles, became potential threats to the political and cultural ideology of the Third Reich.  Therefore, the Europeans were not  immigrants but emigrants, individuals who while possessing documentation, were forced to leave their homelands due to political pesecution. A s such, they had little or no opportunity to prepare for their voyage to America, often arriving with a wholly inadequate knowledge of its customs or language. The emigres while deeply indebted to America were, unlike immigrants, keenly aware of their forced presence, the feeling of not wanting to have come at all. As Jacques Lipchitz wrote in his autobiography: "Although I was enormously grateful for the help of the American Rescue Committee, I was frightened about going to the United States, about which I knew very little: and also I had no money or other resources, or even a word of English."  57  The restrictive measures which led to the European political refugees being legally treated as immigrants, immediately gave rise to antagonism based upon the expectations generated by the socially objectified meaning of this latter term. Most of the Europeans arrived in a state of mental and physical exhaustion and were totally unprepared for the officious procedures at American customs.  58  A s political  refugees recently having been exposed to "black booted storm troopers" and to a great many hostile government officials while attempting to flee Europe, these  -29-  encounters with uniformed customs officers were most distressful.  Max Ernst for  instance, after having been interned several times i n Europe, was yet again detained at Ellis Island since some of his papers were not i n order. American officials while often courteous and helpful, were largely unaware of these peoples' immediate pasts, treating them as they would any immigrant. They were therefore, repeatedly baffled by the emigres intense fear and apprehension.  One European writer  remarked at this time, "Our new hosts will have to treat us like children frightened of the dark if they wish us to resume our manhood".  60  Once past customs officials, they were ushered to the representatives of the many private relief organizations to determine their needs.  61  They were obliged to  do so since immigrants were not eligible for governmental assistance for a period of five years.  It was at the hands of these social agencies that many Europeans  experienced further impoverishment i n spite of the formers best intentions.  In  Europe, social assistance organizations were a form of aid by the government which one contributed to through taxation. However, in America the emigres were keenly aware that the assistance being offered was coming from private donations and therefore, the "more personal form of aid they received tended to make them feel that they were receiving charity and they reacted strongly against i t " .  62  While they  did experience feelings of gratefulness and indebtedness directly to the American people, they were bitter and ashamed at being forced to accept circumstances over which they had little control. These feelings were frequently misinterpreted by the Americans as ones of ingratitude.  63  This loss of self esteem was sometimes  aggravated by agencies who treated the emigre as "recipients of handouts," displaying attitudes  of condescension.  64  A lack of understanding  of the  psychological state of this group as emigres was reflected i n the procedural methods of these agencies who immediately conducted interviews that sought to reveal "all the intimate facts of his life" , an ordeal that many found unbearable due to the 65  -30-  further loss of privacy. Pfanner quotes a German writer refugee Walter Victor as saying of these organizations that while their generosity was greatly appreciated and although they gave the refugees "bread", they did not realize that" man does not live by bread alone."  66  Following the officious procedures at customs and the interviews  by the national social agencies, the Europeans were provided with accommodations either by the groups sponsoring them, or by friends who had arrived previously. Often the arrival of the most notable of the European intelligentsia was anticipated by friends or devotees in New York. One such example was Andre Breton, whose friends or "Les 'troupes' de Breton", had already prepared an apartment for h i m .  67  The most appropriate designation for the members of this group at this point is the term exile. This is not to say that the terms political refugee and emigre are no longer relevant, but only that there exists a spatio-temporal difference that forbids the absolute conflation of the three. To be in exile implies a cessation of physical movement from one country to another, even if only temporarily. Therefore, this distinction is one of a sequential nature. The Europeans as political refugees had ceased their flight once they had achieved refuge through the process of emigration, and entered into a state of exile.  68  While the Europeans had attained sanctuary in  New York, as political refugees and emigre's they often continued to experience the anxiety and dread associated with political persecution.  This concern with the  political circumstances surrounding their expulsion, was especially evident in the works of artists and writers while in exile. In addition, many of the exiles regarded their stay in America as only a temporary one, and hence were resistant to being assimilated into an American way of life.  This reluctance was a great source of  misunderstanding since many Americans expected them to behave like immigrants through the abandonment of old ways. One of the problematic issues that profits from an analysis of these terms, is the lack of language skills on the part of the emigres, and their subsequent  -31-  resistance to acquiring them once in exile.  Although a large proportion of the  Europeans could speak a little English, as political refugees and emigres, they had little opportunity to improve their proficiency. Having to rely upon the voices of others often added to their feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness.  But this  handicap did not always result in an effort to overcome it. Again, as exiles, many amongst  them  regarded  their  forced presence  as temporary  even if this  temporariness was to last a lifetime and hence resulted in a refusal, or at the very least, a resistance to learning the new language.  69  Hesitance was especially  prevalent amongst the older exiles whose self identity was intimately tied to their cultural pasts of which their language was an integral part.  Those intellectual  emigres who managed to function in an academic, literary or artistic capacity were extremely well versed in the subtle nuances of their own language, distinctions vital to intellectual concepts not readily translated into English. N o doubt there were some refused out of feelings of superiority, regarding American cultural traditions as lacking refinement. A case in point was that of Breton. Max Ernst, interviewed in New Y o r k in 1946 stated: "Andre Breton does not speak English. H e persists in thinking everything not French is imbecile." part of the debilitation of exile.  70  But this refusal must be considered as  Ernst goes on to say of Breton: "Possibly his  reluctance to attempt to speak English for fear of some embarrassing error is related to some childhood experience. In any case he is actually frightened-'scared' at the thought of having to learn English."  71  This resistance to learn the language of the host nation sparked a great deal of antagonism leading to accusations of ungratefulness and arrogance. The exiles on the other hand deeply resented the Americans emphasis upon conformity through assimilation. Pfanner notes that many German exiles were discouraged from learning English since those who did make the attempt were often still discriminated against due to their ineradicable accents  -32-  7 2  European accents and  mannerisms were as well often stereotyped in the popular press, which no doubt deeply offended the exiles.  73  This resulted in feelings of indignation, a further loss  of self confidence, and a tendency to keep to themselves and maintain a low profile. Sometimes this stereotyping was directed towards a gentle and well meaning coercion to assimilate, but nevertheless, it was just as off putting. A n essay by V i o l a Paradise that appeared in 1941 in a more scholarly journal, Survey Graphic, was typical of such encouragements.  In this article entitled "New Schools for New  Citizens," Paradise reviewed the various efforts to "Americanize" the refugees in New Y o r k through its various public educational institutions. A description of the first day of classes in one of these schools is lacking in its understanding of the cultural pride, language and habits that the exile regarded as a vital part of a diminished sense of self. She writes, " A pronunciation drill begins the session . . . which will be the hardest - for the Hamburg surgeon to change his sirsty to 'thirsty', or for a Viennese anthropologist to transform nossine to 'nothing'"  74  She treats the  emigres mannerisms and customs in the same fashion. Observing a new arrival she writes, ". . . after presenting his registration card he clicks his heels and bows from the waist . . . H e must learn a whole new code of American manners: the small change of our conversation, how to behave in a restaurant; that we have no equivalent of the Europeans coffee house, where one cup of coffee entitles you to spend the whole evening over newspapers and talk."  75  This subject of the absence of the cafe', which at first may seem a relatively minor one, was yet another setback for the exiles. Paradise, like many Americans, seemed to be unaware of the social importance of the cafe to the European intelligentsia, puzzled as to why it was they would want to fritter away long hours in one spot. Yet the lack of a cafe life is constantly lamented over in the writings of the exiles. Ernst blames the lack of a common meeting place were ideas could be  -33-  exchanged, as one of the most disruptive forces on the intellectual life of the emigres. H e recalls: During my first months in New York there were many Paris painters here. A t first the surrealist groups seemed to have a real strength: but little by little they began to break up. It was hard to see one another in New York. The cafe life was lacking. In Paris at sixo'clock any evening you knew what cafe terrace you could find Giacometti or Eluard . . . A s a result in New Y o r k we had artists, but no art. A r t is not produced by one artist, but by several. It is to a great degree a product of their exchange of ideas one with another. 76  One of the most debilitating aspects of exile for this particular group, was the diminishment of notoriety.  As Pfanner states: "For some of them the drop in  professional social status was the most serious blow they had to endure."  77  Having  suffered humiliation at the hands of the Nazis, many exiles had hoped to recover some semblance of their former identities based upon professional roles associated with high levels of academic or artistic achievement. While some did manage to function in their previous occupations, almost all experienced an appreciable loss of prestige.  78  In an article by Gerhart Saenger entitled "The Psychology of the  Refugee," he directly addressed the problem of the sudden loss of status. H e wrote: "The refugees  arrives only after he has gone through experiences  perhaps  unparalleled in the history of modern mankind. His security as well as his belief in values he had always considered fundamental have been undermined.  Only his  education and his former status are left as bases of self respect and emotional balance."  79  This crucial loss of social status only intensified the exiles often futile  attempts to cling to it. This inevitably led to further misunderstandings.  Saenger  continues: "The American is at an utter loss to understand the emigres tenacious clinging to the old occupation, even in cases where a change would actually be advantageous; and he often labels his attitude as stupid, unrealistic, and the result of false pride".  80  A part of these categorizations was no doubt based upon a  -34-  misconception of this group as immigrants. Considered as such, the Americans immediately expected them to work at menial tasks as was expected of all newcomers.  The exiles frequently responded to American expectations with  indignation and hostility.  Saenger writes that the exile became "embittered,  reluctant to make the essential adjustments, liable to develop a negative attitude towards his new environment. Unable to see the situation clearly, he first projects his despair and the difficulties he faces into his environment and then blames them on it".  H e states that while the emigres were genuinely appreciative towards  81  America, they were at the same time angered by the lack of awareness of their particular dilemma as those expulsed from positions of professional or scholarly authority and forced to flee for their lives. These misunderstandings led to further clustering. Saenger states: "The immigrant, feeling rejected by the Americans whom he considers his equals, and misunderstood by those whom he meets . . . turns to his old crowd. Here he is still the prestige-endowed person he was in the old country, here people speak his language, understand his problems, cherish the same values".  82  This absence  of empathy based largely upon an ignorance of the  circumstances surrounding the emigration of the Europeans, made it difficult for the exiles to openly express, either verbally or in their work, a continued concern for current historical events. As political refugees, the exiles had been witness to the fall of one European country after another and were justifiably concerned with the possibility that America itself was not safe from German aggression. When the exiles voiced their fears and related their first hand accounts in New York, they were dismayed to find that the Americans listened with their proverbial politeness, but seemed to think that the Europeans were exaggerating, or worse, were inventing stories. Pfanner states that the exiles ". . . felt they were pitied, not for what they had experienced but for having themselves become the victims of anti-Nazi  -35-  propaganda".  3  Although they understood that the Americans were a far distance  from the war, they still found this lack of empathy rather disheartening and drew further into silence and isolation. Many of the exiles believed this seeming lack of compassion and concern was indicative of broader tendencies within American life. They found Americans to be lacking in their knowledge of international affairs and rather provincial in their outlook.  They as well found them unduly optimistic,  incapable of dealing with topics of an unpleasant or disturbing nature. Even friends made in America were slow in responding to the exiles needs to discuss the death camps and the loss of friends and family.  Pfanner quotes one exile writer as  commenting that, "America is the country of the cheerful dead. Soon after a person has been charred to death in an airplane crash, one will see him rise again from the ashes with a beaming smile in the morning newspaper. Americans are like the bird Phoenix . . . Death is a taboo in this country."  84  The notoriety of the practioners of modern art who were brought to America mainly between late 1939 and 1941, did not exempt them from the many predicaments of exile.  A s political refugees, they had to leave behind their  possessions which necessitated  the rebuilding of a body of works in a new  environment fraught with hindrances. A s Jacques Lipchitz wrote: The need to work tormented me; but at this time I found myself so upset, harassed by a thousand anxieties, and in such a psychological condition that it was absolutely impossible for me to grapple with the subject which preoccupied me 8 5  Even when a few works were produced, success was far from guaranteed. A s celebrated as many of these artists were, the recipients of adulation from a small segment of the New Y o r k art scene, their notoriety in America was not nearly as great as it had been in Europe.  In addition, they were largely confronted by a  buying public still suffering from the effects of the depression, whose tastes were  -36-  decidedly resistant to modern art.  Even New York's art critics were themselves  frequently divided on the subject, and their often ambiguous reviews adversely affected the reception of the exiles work. This loss of status and resistance to their practices resulted in reactive behavior not unlike that of the other emigres. Maurice Davie in his interviews conducted in New Y o r k in the early 1940's, reported that many Americans, including other artists complained that the European artists, and especially the French, were haughty and arrogant, constantly expressing their desire to return to Europe.  A l l of this he states, was "accompanied by a deliberate  exaggeration of Gallic mannerisms and habits of dress imported from Europe."  86  Davie quotes an emigre of another profession as saying of the French artists, "They have an inferiority complex occasioned in part by the fall of France, and this makes them violently assertive of their own personality and of their own nationality."  87  One of the most significant factors which came to influence the intellectual activities of the exiles was their deep feelings of indebtedness to their American hosts.  88  This is clearly evident in the writings and artistic output of the exiles which  reveals a general absence of an in depth critique of American political and cultural life. This is not to say that criticism was non-existent, but rather considering that many of the German, Austrian and French exiles were left leaning intellectuals quite capable of launching mass assaults upon capitalism, and bourgeois institutions, these types of critiques were for the most part, noticeably absent. The European intellectual as we have seen was directly indebted to those groups, organizations and individuals in America who rescued them from Nazi persecution.  Without this  assistance, many would have faced internment in concentration camps, and perhaps even death. Due to this debt, those who were fortunate enough to participate in the organized life of the American educational or cultural system through  the  universities, colleges, museums and art galleries, did so almost entirely within the latter's ideological boundaries. This is not to say that the exiles were denied arenas  -37-  for critical activity. One oppositional zone common to all of these institutions was the stance taken against fascism and its threat to international freedom of expression. Here the exile had an opportunity to openly voice his concerns along with those of his American liberators. However, to mount a massive critique against these institutions and American cultural, political and economic life, one largely infused with capitalist ideology, would have been under the circumstances, an unjustifiable act of ingratitude.  89  In the hopes of strengthening this line of argument  about impoverishment and indebtedness, two critiques that in fact were directed towards American cultural life and the circumstances surrounding their production, will be taken into consideration. One group of exiles who did mount a severe critique of American cultural life was the Institut fur Sozialforshung, better known in North America as the Frankfurt School. In his essay entitled "Social Theory in a New Context", H . Stuart Hughes addresses this almost singular occurrence juxtaposed to the overwhelming silence of those exiles who, "were obliged to a minimum of concessions~at the very least to simplify one's idiom."  90  Hughes concludes that while the members of the  Institut experienced difficulties common to all exiles, their position of financial security generally freed them from critical restraint. H e writes: Quite different was the Institut . . . (which) usually had plenty of money. Originally based in Frankfurt . . . it had fled Germany early enough to save its endowment . . . Whether in New Y o r k or on the Pacific Coast, the Institut was defiantly and uncompromisingly Teutonic. Its prime movers, Max Horkheimer and Theodor W . Adorno, defined their task in characteristically complex fashion as one of mounting an avant-garde assault on mass culture while preserving what was best in the tradition from which they had sprung. In neither role were they particularly concerned about their public. 9  A second critical stance which is more directly associated with the topic at hand is the position taken by Andre Breton. Even though he, like Horkheimer and  -38-  Adorno, was an intellectual vehemently opposed to capitalism and its permeation of cultural institutions, his critiques are marked by their restraint rather than confrontation. Breton unlike the members of the Institut, had been directly rescued by Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee and hence became aware of the compromises he was obliged to make as indebted artist-emigre.  This  recognition was eloquently expressed in an address made to the students of Yale University in December of 1942 entitled "Situation of Surrealism Between the Two Wars". In his lecture at Yale, Breton declared that the fundamental principle that continually informed Surrealist theory and practice was the quest for freedom. H e states: "It is the only word that would burn the tongue of Goebbels; it is the word which commands the inscription that his crony Petain could not bear on the face of public monuments. Freedom]"  92  But he conceded that the quest for this ideal was  laden with pitfalls since men were often overcome by powerful forces opposed to its achievement. H e stated: It was breaking faith with freedom to renounce expressing oneself personally... outside the strict framework in which a 'party' wishes to contain you, even if it be thought, the party of freedom (loss of the feeling of uniqueness). It was equally erroneous for others to believe they would always be so much themselves that they could be compromised with, no matter by whom(loss of the feeling of dependance). Freedom is at once madly desirable and quite fragile . .  Clearly this statement expresses Breton's own position faced with the compromise of exile, constrained within liberal ideologies concerned with collective freedom of expression, but not conducive towards individual originality, and non-conformity. While it may be argued that the often judgmental Breton was referring to other Surrealists whom he often accused of being seduced by capitalism's monetary lure, he confesses that he himself had succumbed to the strain of the unwavering  -39-  demands of freedom.  O f his own predicament in New Y o r k he declared: "In the  trial which Surrealism has instituted, it is clear that I have too long been a 'party' to be able to make myself a judge today."  94  The second document of Breton's that is reflective of his position as an artistemigre in New Y o r k is "Originality and Liberty" written in late 1941. There are two aspects of this essay that are especially noteworthy. The first is that while it is still characterized by a lack of specificity, it is more critical of the position of the artist in American cultural life. The second point of relevance is that this article appeared only in A r t in Australia, a far distance away from his geographical location in New York.  95  In "Originality and Liberty", Breton revealed both his distress at being uprooted and transplanted, and his continued concern with past events Europe. H e wrote: However hard a man may try to maintain the apparent continuity of his life and his own course . . . giddy doubts still haunt his questioning . . . Even the most stable and best poised mind cannot help being fixed, for the moment upon the mighty shrieks of sirens, the dragon like tongues of flame which forebode the roar of tanks being hurled against each other. 96  Fascism and totalitarianism were again heartily condemned, and while there was a notable absence of anti-capitalist rhetoric, concern was registered for artistic freedom while in its current state of sanctuary. The very essence of artistic freedom for Breton was originality, and its continuation depended upon the absence of constraints to be innovative and non-conformist. As revealed in his address at Yale, Breton believed that while an ideological position may express concern for freedom in a very broad way, it may not be conducive towards the actualization of freedom in the sense that Breton meant it, that is to say, the freedom to be original. H e again declared that artistic freedom was everywhere threatened by current global  -40-  conditions. H e stated that there were "those efforts by totalitarian governments to restrain at all costs, the spirit of discovery, of invention in art. Therefore also on the other hand, certain quite obscure efforts which tend to dissuade and sidetrack the spirit. O n the one hand, those persecutions of free artists; on the other hand, a more or less well intentioned guarding against certain extremes." This latter form of restraint which Breton claimed was occurring "under other skies, is condemned as a form of "obscurantism" and he asked: "And who . . . will consent to admit that the need for new discovery ought to stop, here or there as if the current had been cut off for the time?"  97  While it may be argued that Breton is referring to the cultural  situation in France, a characterization of the Vichy government as "more or less well intentioned", would seem highly unlikely.  In addition, the phrases "under other  skies" and "here or there", also suggests a locale other than Europe.  It seems  reasonable then to assume that in this publication, Breton was referring again in a more openly critical manner, to the dilemma of the impoverished artist exile who in America had achieved liberty, but was not free to be original. Breton was  not  the  only Surrealist emigre  to  articulate  his  apprehension over the immediate future of modernist artistic practices in an atmosphere inimical to them. In the following issue of A r t in Australia, an article by Andre Masson appeared entitled "Life and Liberty".  Once again, it was only  published in Australia and it was strikingly similar to Breton's both in its content and in its tone. Masson asserted that the artist must be free to express his concerns over current historical conditions. H e wrote: "We are living in an extremely disturbed moment of history, and it is not necessary . . . that the painter should conceal the disquietude of his epoch."  98  While Masson openly praised America's and England's  concern for artistic freedom, he was openly critical over the reception towards modernist practices. H e stated: "The reproach of being incomprehensible is often  -41-  made by those who, despite their good intentions, are taken by surprise when confronted with new forms. deliberately obscure"  99  Or perhaps they suspect the innovator of being  These charges by Masson certainly must be considered in  light of the derision that some of the works received in the Artists in Exile show. The final term, one which is of primary importance when exploring the reception of the Europeans in New York, is that of the alien. A l l of the political refugees who entered America as immigrants or with temporary visitors visas were foreign born citizens of another country, and therefore  by definition aliens.  However, this term unlike the others has a more openly prejudicial connotation, one that implies difference and incompatibility. When it is found in the literature of or about this period, it invariably has these connotations.  Historically this is not  surprising. The Europeans came during a period of depression, isolationism, antiEuropean sentiments and prejudice fueled by Nazi propaganda.  In addition, as  America began to take notice of events in Europe in the late 1930's and finally entered the war in 1941, its citizens became increasingly suspicious of outsiders who might pose a threat not only to internal military security, but to America's cultural traditions through an infiltration of its educational institutions. The exiles who had acquired an especially high profile at educational establishments in New York therefore, became the targets of anti-alien outbursts. Alvin Johnson who had placed many of the emigres wrote an article in 1941 entitled "The Refugee Scholar in America" which attempted to calm and reassure the more reactionary elements in America. H e reported that there were only six hundred exiled scholars in American institutions, a comparatively small number when considering the overall academic population. H e states: "The proportion is worth bearing in mind because there are many who are under the impression that our educational life is being swamped with alien professors."  100  This limited number assured that American culture was safe  from subversion. But the article was not without its admonishments, and was critical  -42-  of American xenophobia.  Johnson whose stance was decidedly internationalist,  declared: "Scholarship is in its essential nature international . . . The International position of the United States is changing rapidly. Everyone realizes that after the war America will be compelled even against its will to assume a virtual hegemony . . . in science and the arts of civilization. Isolationism, economic or cultural, can be only a dream, as unreal as it is unworthy."  101  By late 1941 when America entered the war, the exiles immediately assumed that they had finally acquired a more politically receptive audience. They were also given the opportunity to overcome some of their feelings of helplessness through a direct participation in the war effort. Certainly one case where a language liability was turned into an asset, was that of Breton, who in 1941, began to work for the Voice of America in New York. There he was joined by other exiled notables such as Levi-Strauss, Georges Duthuit, and Denis de Rougemont.  102  But the exiles were  dismayed by realization that they were again the victims of this new wave of antialienism. Americans suddenly became aware of the "other" and the possibility that "fifth columnists" were carrying on subversive activities within their borders. This paranoia was fueled by the popular press which ran stories about the infiltration of Nazi agents, and supplied the amateur spy hunter with inane methods of detecting them.  Fermi states that the German exiles with their dress and accents became  conspicuous targets of this alarmism, and they were discouraged from joining the war effort by Americans who viewed them as Nazi sympathizers.  103  Nevertheless,  there were those who came to the aid of the aliens. A n article in Harpers Magazine in September 1940 entitled "The A l i e n Myth", Lucille Milner and David Dempsy directly confronted what they perceived as a totally unwarranted hysteria over the presence of aliens in America.  While they conceded that in light of what was  occurring in Europe, America was correct in stepping up its defense program and increasing internal security, they claimed reactionary groups were committing  -43-  unjustifiable abuses against aliens in the name of democracy. They wrote: "Hysteria, vigilante groups and self-appointed spy hunters have no place in national defense. Widespread alien discrimination . . . hysterical and often unconstitutional anti-alien edicts of governors . . . will confuse the innocent with the guilty and hamper the work of government agencies." aggravated this situation.  104  They claimed that the newly arrived refugees only  The alien they believed, had come to symbolize in  America ". . . criminals, persons uninterested in their communities welfare, and preemptors of jobs in a nation of jobless . . . H e has become the common carrier of the economic social and cultural ailments of the country ~ the Typhoid Mary of Modern A m e r i c a . "  105  It was then in this social, political, economic and cultural atmosphere, that the Artists in Exile show took place.  The renewed period of anti-alienism and  cultural isolationism due to America's entry into the war in late 1941, necessitated in early 1942 a well planned strategy to convince the American public that trends in European avant-garde practice were worth safeguarding and perpetuating on North American shores.  -44-  Chapter Three  The Artists in Exile Show  The Artists in Exile show took place at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in March of 1942, just months after many of its exhibitors emigrated to America. Its format was typically  European  in approach;  a  straightforward  display of  images  accompanied by a manifesto. In this manifesto were two statements, one by James Thrall Soby entitled "Europe", the other by Nicholas Calas, entitled "America". Both conflated political and cultural internationalism through direct appeals to American patriotism proposing that now that America was at war, the safeguarding of European modernist art must be considered as a stance against Fascism. This tactic of joining artistic and political concerns was regarded as having some potential since in March of 1942 America was at war with Germany. While such a petition might seem admirable enough, what always be kept in mind is that these works were being presented through a private gallery system. While the art market had improved somewhat since the height of the depression in the thirties, the presence of these men and their works if astutely promoted, offered the opportunity of injecting a renewed level of enthusiasm into a recovering art market. This is not to reduce the motives of the shows organizers to purely economic ones, but the bottom line was that if patronage could not be established, this opportunity would be lost. Soby began his brief statement by confidently taking issue with both the political and cultural isolationist viewpoint and its "refuge, and an excuse, in Regionalism and the American Scene Movement."  106  H e declared that the'present  persecution of artists on an international scale had demonstrated that artistic freedom was now a concern of global importance and proposed that these artists be welcomed on democratic grounds. H e wrote:  -45-  . . . it would be disastrous to apply rigid standards of nationalism to the arts, however necessary these standards may be in other applications during time of war . . . .Our enemies themselves have defined the disaster of which I speak. By declaring that art is national or that it does not exist, they have established what may well be their most absolute perversion of truth . . . .the arts are the only currency left which cannot be counterfeited and which may be passed from nation to nation and from people to people. It is true that this currency must now be smuggled part of the way . . . and in America., let us make sure-it will never be refused or unjustly deflated. 107  Nicholas Calas in his statement persevered in this encouragement to accept the continuation of European modernist practices in America through additional pleas to American hospitality and democratic ideals. H e wrote: What the immigrant hand laborer or political refugee, intellectual or artist, expect first of all when they come to America is to find a means by which they can continue their existence; for an artist to exist it is not only necessary that he should secure a minimum of economic independence but also that minimum of understanding and encouragement without which he cannot paint, carve, write or compose. From this point of view, fortunately, the situation today is definitely better than it was a century ago when a wave of intellectual immigrants from Germany came to live in the United States in the atmosphere of freedom that was denied them in their native l a n d . 108  Calas like Noch and Greenberg before him sought to justify the movement of European culture to America through the establishment of the same historical imperative.  H e presented  all culture as cumulative and international, an  independent subject of history constantly being driven from one civilized center to another. H e stated: O n the atlas of civilization, culture is like a sea finding its level, a liquid following the laws of communicating vases. . . . When surveying the history of art it becomes surprisingly clear what a profound effect the exchange between the Orient and the Occident had upon the culture of Europe. When the land route to India fell under control of Greece, the Greek conception of life became the predominant one; when next the Arabs blocked the route to India, Europe went through a new cultural phase, the Middle Ages. O n the  -46-  discovery of a sea route around the Cape of Good Hope, the influence of the Moslem world was neutralized and a new era of civilization started in E u r o p e . 109  Given this scenario of a constantly emigrating culture and the current threat posed to it by fascism, Calas proposed that the survival and continuance of international culture was now the responsibility of America.  H e declared: "If the excellence  attained by the painters and sculptors of the Paris School is to have a future, the work of the immigrant artist must be grafted on to American l i f e . "  110  Thus Calas  has elevated the questionable issue of emigrant modern artists to one of much greater importance: the potential demise and hence the urgency of rescuing the accumulation of centuries of culture kept moving by social, political, and economic upheaval.  Furthermore, it attempted to expedite this grafting process through a  characterization of art, due to its constant state of migration, as adaptable and most always amenable to the incorporation of new ideas. As in previous efforts to bring European culture to America, opportunism was also adopted as a strategy in the manifesto to overcome native resistance. This was especially necessary, as has been mentioned, when broaching Americans on the subject of modern art.  The distaste for such practices was aptly captured in an  article that appeared in Fortune Magazine in December of 1941. It read: Art in Europe since the emergence of impressionism in the nineteenth century has developed in certain definite directions that are not generally familiar to or accepted by large portions of the American public . . . the American . . . who insists on having his art "look like something" is the same American who loves the fantasy of Donald Duck and the comic s t r i p . 111  While it is true that the manifesto was primarily directed more towards those in the New Y o r k art scene, there too could be found a general distaste for European modernist art. Faced with these misgivings, Calas and Soby heralded the arrival of  -47-  these artists, collectively referred to as the "Paris School", as a virtual windfall for American artists and patrons. This idea of a European school safeguarded in, and at the disposal of America had been previously met with some success in Alvin Johnson's University in Exile and the Ecole Libre. However, the primary thrust of this appeal was that the presence of these artists offered America an unprecedented opportunity to seize world cultural dominance. Soby wrote: Their presence can mean much or little. It can mean the beginning of a period during which the American traditions of freedom and generosity may implement a new internationalism in art, centered in this country. Or it can mean that American artists and patrons may form a xenophobic circle and wait for such men to go away, leaving our art as it was before. The choice is of a final gravity, yet no one with vision will hesitate long over i t . 1 1 2  In order that European high culture be successfully grafted on to American culture, it was the authors claimed, of fundamental importance that "the American should try to understand the European artist's aims."  113  To this end, Calas embarked upon  an explanation of European avant-garde practices to an American audience. Calas began his elucidation as if he were introducing these movements to a neophyte. H e referred to all the works shown as representing the "Paris School."  114  This was a highly questionable maneuver on Calas' part since this assignment sounds suspiciously like the "School of Paris", a term that has no validity when discussing Surrealism.  115  H e labeled Cubism as the "intelligent" since to understand  it required "a powerful effort." Surrealism he called the "inspiring" due to its provocation through "shocks and surprises." Neo-Romanticism is referred to as the "beautiful" because of its portrayal of aesthetic beauty in terms of "combinations of lines and in subject." Finally, he endeavored to explain all three as complimentary parts of a totality. H e stated:  -48-  A s those terms, the intelligent, the inspiring and the beautiful, partly overlap in meanings, so the artists of one of these groups sometimes influence artists o f the other groups. The theory of communicating vases can again be a p p l i e d . 116  Thus this convergence of, and communication between artistic movements was validated by alluding to principles of a universal nature.  This portrayal  deemphasised the more outwardly oppositional aspects of these movements, such as those of surrealism, and their antagonism towards each other. After proffering this explanation to an American audience, Calas extended what he regarded as salient pieces of advice to the exiled Europeans to assist them in understanding the differences between American and European culture. This account curiously enough, was based not so much upon intellectual distinctions but rather upon how religious difference had defined cultural dissimilarities. In doing so, Calas lapsed once again into what can only be considered as appeals to patriotism. Hence this counsel seemed to be yet another opportunity to patronize the American reader. H e wrote: The European artist is too often inclined to forget the difference between the cultural background of North America and Europe. The United States is the first country of pure Protestant background to become an important factor i n the cultural life of our times. Most Protestant countries of Europe never succeeded in breaking away from the influence of Catholicism be it for geographical or historical reasons. The Protestant i n his cultural outlook is more interested in Truth than in Beauty, while the Catholic sees the value of Beauty better than the Protestant. Under the influence of the Protestant conception which was so well adapted to the needs and the adventurous spirit of the early pioneer, the search for Truth helped the United States to become what she is today. 117  This sweeping generalization was in absolute disregard to the exiles to whom it was being conferred upon. Any implication that the avant-garde practices i n question such as Surrealism were more interested in beauty than i n truth, or were informed by Catholicism, was absurd. While he goes on to suggest that both sides needed to  -49-  reconsider their positions if the current crisis in culture was to be overcome, he does not hesitate in putting things in perspective for the exiles, the new pilgrims. H e proclaimed: "The artist to be historically situated must not forget that he is looking into the future not from Paris . . . but from a continent between two oceans."  118  The manifesto in its entirety then, was a proposal to the American cultural community that called for a new phase of international culture to begin in America through a grafting of European modernist art on its own. Due to the anticipated resistance to such a suggestion, a specific strategy was adopted that combined this proposal with appeals to American patriotism. Furthermore, the varied artists who participated in the show were represented as participating members of a common school who were now gathered in, and at the disposal of America. What was offered as documentation of their presence and their unity, was the group photograph which accompanied the show.[fig.2] When looking at this group photo, one does get a feeling of fellowship. Formally attired in European dress, all appear quite professional and scholarly in appearance.  Gesture and posturing also transmit an impression of mutual  association. While there is some discomfort registered, especially by Chagall, seated second from the right, who sits cross-armed staring defiantly out at the viewer, most seem quite at ease, smiling, hands folded benignly in front of them. Leger, situated in the front right, leans in towards the left with his arm seemingly placed around Chagall, and Matta on the far left, has one leg firmly planted on the floor which is angled in towards the right. In addition their arrangement in space, huddled in the corner of a room in an irregular wedge shape, also imparts a further sense of cohesiveness. But Pierre Matisse's recollection of that day transforms those smiles into grimaces. H e wrote:  -50-  I get all these people to the studio for the Artists in Exile show and while the photographer fixed his camera, all these people who hated each other were walking around trying not to greet one another. Breton didn't like Mondrian, Leger didn't like Chagall, Chagall and Ernst didn't like each other. They all wound up in the picture next to the one they liked the least. 119  While the photograph and the manifesto's essays may have partially been successful in fabricating an illusion of association, what served to undermine it was the disparate nature of works displayed on the gallery walls. Here cold geometric abstraction was exhibited beside works replete with turbulent formal effects or those rich in imaginative figuration. But disparateness was not their only distinguishing feature. Many of the works were executed in America and registered the concerns of the Europeans as exiles. In some cases, although not all, this need to directly address the issues of the war effected modifications to and even deviations from previous methodological approaches. In pursuit of this contention, three works will be focused upon; Max Ernst's Europe After the Rain of 1940-1942, Andre Breton's Portrait of the Actor A.B.  of 1941, and Piet Mondrian's Composition dated 1935-  1942. What shall be undertaken is an investigation into specific and relevant aspects of these artists methodologies, in order to determine if and to what degree these works exhibited such departures.  While these analyses may themselves at times  appear as departures, I believe that any deviatory content, if it exists at all, must be determined through juxtapositions to more orthodox practices. The first work that will be investigated as reflecting the political concerns of the artist-emigre is Max Ernst's Europe After the Rain. Ernst wrote a great deal about his own artistic methodologies and why he believed them to be fruitful as a means of exploring the unconcious mind. H e wrote in 1936 in his essay "Beyond Painting": Botticelli did not like landscape painting. H e felt that it was 'a kind of short and mediocre investigation.' H e says with contempt that 'by  -51-  throwing a sponge soaked with different colors against a wall one makes a spot in which may be seen a beautiful landscape.' This earned him a severe admonishment from his colleague Leonardo da Vinci: 'He [Botticelli] is right: one is bound to see bizarre inventions in such a smudge: I mean that he who will gaze attentively at that spot will see human heads, various animals, a battle, rocks, the sea, clouds, thickets, and still more: it is like the tinkling of a bell which makes one hear what one imagines. 120  The willful and imaginative development of chance such as that derived from Bottecelli's sponge throwing, is one of the fundamental methodologies of Ernst's, and indeed all Surrealist artistic production. It is the informing principle that runs through his collage, frottage, and de'calcomania. However, when one speaks of the utilization of chance in such practices, one does not mean the  haphazard.  Surrealism embraces chance as a means through which a plastic work may be initiated not by premeditation, but rather by the accidental, the unforeseen, thus departing from an embarkation based upon rational intentionality. Frottage and decalcomania that employ from their beginnings, markings taken from banal objects such as a wooden floor, or those from the porous patterns derived from lifting or the application of paint to canvas with sponges, immediately sparks and sets in motion the imaginative capacity. Once this faculty has been released from the oppression of reason and the stultification from the routine of everyday life, the artist could willfully and consciously bring out into the open, images suppressed within the unconscious mind. A s Ernst wrote: Since it is well known that every normal person (and not only the artist) carries in his subconscious an inexhaustible supply of buried pictures, it is a matter of courage or of liberating methods (such as 'automatic writing') to bring light from expeditions into the unconscious unforged (uncolored by control) objects (pictures) whose union one can describe as irrational perception of poetic objectivity . .  -52-  But the employment of chance in Surrealist practice has always proven to be problematic for both artists and critics. Unlike the use of automatism in free speech or poetry which has as its advantage a certain level of spontaneity primarily due to the speed which it can be employed, yielding results that may elude conscious control, the making of a plastic work is a much lengthier process and is therefore, more susceptible to premeditation. Ernst was certainly aware of this problem and addressed it. H e wrote: A t first it did not seem easy for painters and sculptors to find methods of achieving poetic objectivity which were in accord with "automatic writing" and were adapted to their technical possibilities of expression, that is, to banish intellect, taste, and conscious will from the process of art m a k i n g . . . 1 2 2  However, it was believed that through the catalytic influence of chance utilized as an initiating process, that the surrealist artist could through the employment of consciously directed imagination, bring to the surface images suppressed within his or her unconscious mind. In his book The Images of Surrealism. J. H . Matthews addresses this issue of the balance between that which is premeditated and that which is developed spontaneously in surrealist art production. H e writes: . . . it is fruitless to attempt a careful distinction between premeditation and spontaneity. Far more to the point, where the intervention of chance is welcomed so gladly, is the surrealist's realization that habit and routine (affecting our thinking as well as our material lives) have a debilitating effect on creativity. They exercise a retarding influence over the free expression of chance revelation. For this reason above all, surrealists adopt methods they hope and believe will help beneficent chance manifest itself profitably. By placing creative thought on a new track, surrealists argue, these methods will spare us the unexciting experience of journeying yet again to the known, the all-too-familiar. They will extend the artist and his audience the stimulating possibility of travelling into the u n k n o w n . 123  -53-  While Matthews characterizes the attempt to form distinctions between that which is premeditated and that which is spontaneous as unproductive, it is as we have seen in Ernst's essay, a fundamental concern to surrealists, and in fact was often a distinguishing factor amongst these artists that determined whether a work was genuinely "surrealist" or not. If a work appeared premeditated, that is, if it did not transcend the world of everyday occurrence, or in Ernst's words, if it addressed matters of "intellect, taste and conscious will", then its status as a surrealist object became tentative.  This grey zone between the surreal and the real is precisely  where Ernst's Europe After the Rain is located. Europe After the Rain [fig.3] was derived as were many of Ernst's works from an exploration of decalcomania.  This technique  involved the  imaginative  development of images initiated by the process of lifting and, as in the case of Botticelli's wall, applying paint to canvas with sponges. O f this technique Matthews wrote: It is imperative then that, practicing decalcomania, the surrealist artist refrain from preconceived notions regarding the pictorial results of his chosen method . . . Exclusion of all preconceptions about what the picture must depict liberates the sensibility leaving it free to explore visual possibilities beyond the capacity of conscious selection. To the extent that interpretation of the resulting pictorial elements may ensue, this is the consequence of illuminating interplay between suggestive features already visible on paper and the artist's dedication to externalizing the inner model. 1  While Ernst's previous works and those which follow use this technique to externalize images that are almost entirely imaginative in nature, such is not the case in Europe After the Rain. Here, procedures designed to release images from the recesses of the unconscious mind are employed to delineate a perceived historical dilemma; the fascist occupation of Europe and the ruination of its cultural traditions.  -54-  The date of Europe After the Rain, 1940-1942, is extremely significant in terms of the conditions under which it was produced. The image was initiated and worked on by Ernst throughout an entire period i n which he was in and out of internment camps in Europe and finally was completed i n A m e r i c a .  125  A s such, it  exhibits an almost narrative quality, a sort of Surrealist version of a L I F E magazine portrait of the front. Close to the center of the image standing amidst a ruined and decaying landscape was Lop-Lop, the exquisite corpse half man, half bird creature which Ernst regarded as his alter ego. Also present are exotic nude female forms interspersed amongst the ruins and faces which emerge from porous subterranean forms, witnesses to the surrounding devastation.  While these particularities are  quite common to Ernst's works of this period, there are specific inclusions that allude to the historical specificity of the work. First there is the issue of the title which clearly identifies the landscape for the viewer as that of Europe. Secondly, while these architectural ruins are enveloped by withered and decomposing vegatation-like forms, they are clearly identifiable as classical in nature. Starting at the right hand side of the canvas and extending out almost to its center, is a dilapidated stone wall punctuated by elliptical arches culminating directly to the right of Lop Lop in a classical round temple. The most significant inclusion, however, is that located i n these ruins directly at the base of this temple, is an armour plated bull. Its presence buttressed by these latter inclusions, removes the work from the realm of the imaginative into that of the known, addressing the historical events of the period and Ernst's personal plight as an artist emigre. In pursuance of this position, the inclusion of the bull in two other works in the Artists in Exile show, Tchelitchews The Green Lion and Lipchitz's the Rape of Europa II, shall be investigated. The appearance of the bull in three of the works in the Artists in Exile Show is certainly not a coincidence since it symbolized amongst these artists the  -55-  destructive force of fascism. This derivation most likely originated earlier with Picasso who i n 1937 had made a series of sketches of bulls and minotaurs, and who in his Guernica, included the bull as representative of fascism, and in particular, Hitler's ruthless bombing of the small Spanish town of the same name. A later work in which the inclusion of the bull again signifies fascism was Tchelitchew's The Green Lion of 1942.[fig.4] In this image children are seen in the foreground playing hide and seek amongst the foliage consisting of wheat spears and the leaves of autumn.  The term "Green Lion" found in the literature on alchemy, is used i n  reference to the Philosophers Stone.  126  Thus the Green L i o n symbolized "the  alchemic allegory of the faculty in nature of turning green leaves red in autumn".  127  Tchelitchew, interested in magic and alchemy, had used the Green L i o n i n previous works as an alchemic reference, however, in this work the lion's head has been partially transformed into that of a bull, once again, i n reference to fascism.  128  This  metamorphosis can been seen i n the rendering of the beasts nose which presses against the wheat spears, the latter signifying in Tchelitchew's own symbology, war and revolution.  129  Thus the image in its entirety with its references to Hitler, war,  and the game of hide and seek, would have had a great deal of relevance for the artist as a political refugee, emigre, and finally as an exile. In Jacques Lipchitz's Rape of Europa II of 1938 [fig.5] the bull also signifies Fascism. The work was a conscious reworking of an earlier bronze he had done entitled The Rape of Europa [fig.6]. The second version had been altered to impart a specifically political content. Lipchitz wrote of this piece: "I used the theme of the rape of Europa later in quite a different context, the Europa as the symbol for Europe, and the bull as Hitler with Europe killing Hitler with a dagger.  This  reverses the concept to one of terror, whereas in the original sculpture of Europa the entire theme is tender and erotic love."  130  While some might object that rape is  hardly to considered as either tender or erotic, in the original sculpture there is an  -56-  entwining and interlacing of figures along a horizontal plane that alludes to a more amorous encounter than a violent one. However, such is not the case i n the second version. The figures extend aggressively out into space, the result of limbs violently being pushed against each other.  The eye is led up on a diagonal and finally is  caught between the two heads which frame the huge dagger thrust into center of the bulls chest. Thus for Lipchitz, as an artist-emigre, the work exemplifies the exiles continued anxiety with, and the need to work through, past events in Europe. Returning to Lipchitz's own words, he wrote: When I made a sculpture like . . . the second version of "Rape of Europa", I was in a sense making a magical image, like a witch doctor who makes the image of an enemy whom he wishes to destroy and then pierces it with pins. Through my sculpture I was killing H i t l e r . 131  The inclusion of the bull in Europe After the Rain by Ernst also served as a means through which the exile could directly address the issues of the war.  Its  triumphant presence languishing atop classical ruins alluded not only to the physical destruction of Europe by fascist forces, but also served to condemn what Ernst perceived of as the annihilation of centuries of European cultural traditions. Conceived of as such, these narrative and judgmental aspects challenges its status as a surrealist object. Another work which departed from orthodox Surrealist practice in an attempt to address the momentous issues of the war, was Breton's Poem-Object, Portrait of the Actor AB of 1941.[fig.7] It consisted of an assemblage of found objects such as a brass fire-alarm hammer and brass numbers, broken bits of mirror, fragments of photographs and maps, highball mixers and pins, all strategically arranged in a rectangular plaque like format.  Amongst these objects Breton had  lettered and hand written various seemingly enigmatic phrases. The work is marked by three peculiarities. Firstly, it directly addressed and condemned current political  -57-  affairs. Secondly, it was of a highly personal nature, primarily though not entirely intended as a self-portrait  Finally, it was accompanied in the show by a rather  lengthy essay written by Breton which was intended as a set of instructions for the neophyte viewer.  While these aspects may not appear that unusual given the  circumstances under which the work was produced and displayed, they are departures from the orthodox province of the poem-object. Invented by Breton in the early 1930's, this juxtaposition of words and objects was to be a revolutionary tool designed to challenge viewer complacency by disrupting the most commonly held notions which bound society together. A s was Ernst's objective, this would hopefully facilitate the liberation of the imaginative capacity.  This former faculty was itself regarded as the primary instrument of  change, one which had been driven into the depths of the unconcious mind through the tyranny of reason.  Denied the use of our capacity to be imaginative, change  could not even be conceived of. To facilitate the breaking away from the rigid immovable constructions of mind imposed by reason, the Surrealists chose as a site of disruption, the utilitarian expectations that arose from the produced object. As Breton wrote in his 1936 essay "Crisis of The Object": Our primary objective must be to oppose by all possible means the invasion of the world of the senses by things which mankind makes use of more from habit than necessity. Here, as elsewhere, the mad beast of convention must be hunted down. There are weapons at hand, since common sense cannot prevent the world of concrete objects, upon which it founds its hateful regime, from remaining inadequately guarded or from being effectively undermined on all sides. 152  The denial of the utilitarian aspects of the object was achieved through "diverting the object from its destination by attaching a new label to it and signing it, thus reclassifying it by the exercise of choice . . . showing it in whatever state external forces . . . have left it; retaining it just because of the doubt surrounding its original  -58-  function; or because of the doubt surrounding its totally or partially irrational conditioning by the elements, entailing its dignification through chance discovery... and finally, creating it from nothing by bringing together disparate elements selected arbitrarily . . . . "  1 3 3  Such an approach would in Breton's estimation, bring about a  "total revolution of the object."  134  While these objects would initially be met with  resistance and hostility due to the disturbance of reason, it was thought that such exposure would eventually have a liberating effect, releasing the imaginative capacity from an almost atrophic state.  As J . H .  Matthews in Languages of  Surrealism wrote: Even at its most elementary stage, the change of role granted an everyday object is significant in surrealism. It accounts for the strong appeal exercised by surrealist objects over the minds of those who find it impossible to ignore them. Resistance . . . by an object to an assignable utilitarian purpose . . . violates our sense of practicality. When this happens, imaginative speculation is at liberty to take over. 135  This manipulation of the object was referred to as disintegration and reintegration or rapprochement, and it was hoped that a similar occurrence would take place in the mind of the viewer, and while not capable of revolutionizing society itself, such objects were capable of delivering what Matthews refers to as a "jolt". H e states: "While not strong enough to overthrow reality altogether, this still can be a blow capable of rocking its supposed stability."  136  A s Michel Carrouges wrote in Andre  Breton and the Basic Concepts of Surrealism. "If surrealism tends to work toward total disintegration, it is not in order to end at pure nothingness, but for the sake of advancing toward the point which is the syntheses in act of all antimonies"  137  Indeed Breton hoped that the constant exposure to a juxtaposition of opposites brought together in an object such as the poem-object, would as well lead the mind to the existence of the dialectic; that all of reality is in a constant state of change  -59-  inforrned and interconnected by opposing factors  or forces whose internal  movement continually transforms each object or thing into something else. Breton's primary medium of creative juxtaposition was that of a poetry. The association of disparate words in poetic phrases was not to be premeditated, but rather primarily derived through the surrealist technique of automatic writing, and was directed towards the liberation of unconscious desire. As Anna Balakian wrote: . . . the poet did not bring these words or images together: rather, he observed them gravitate toward each other by making himself open minded or dream prone so that he would not impede their course and not interpret their collision in terms of meanings that have been inculcated in him by his culture. 138  In addition, the extraordinary juxtaposition of words was, as in the case of objects, directed towards the subversion of the everyday use of language.  The further  juxtaposition of found objects and poetry in the poem-object confronted commonly held notions about the separation of each of the arts. A s Matthews wrote: ". . . poem objects participate actively in removing the barrier set up by tradition . . . to separate poetry from the plastic arts . . . words and forms that come together to make neither a verbal poem nor a piece of sculpture, but a new poetic phenomenon."  139  A n example of a poem-object which clearly manifests Breton's  methodology is his Poem Object of 1934.[fig.8] If this thesis is making the claim that the psychological debilitation resulting from political persecution and exile was sufficient enough to cause a deviation from previous artistic strategies,  then  differences must be established between this previous work and Breton's PoemObject: Portrait of the Actor A.B. of 1941. What will be argued is that this later work like that of Ernst's, is of a highly personal, historically specific and almost didactic nature which threatens its status as a Surrealist object.  -60-  Breton in an interview in View magazine in New York in 1941 remarked that the issues at stake in the war would have a pronounced effect upon the artistic positions of the emigre. H e stated: Once more, this struggle included such emotional charges and is called upon to have such decisive consequences on several planes, that there is no intellectual step which will not find itself modified, contradicted, weakened, verified, strengthened more or less radically.  That a greater degree of premeditation in Surrealist practice might be one specific way in which the issues raised by the war would have to be addressed is directly taken up by Breton. H e wrote in the same year in his essay "Artistic Genesis and Perspective of Surrealism": I will concede that it is possible for automatism to enter into the composition of a painting or a poem with a certain degree of premeditation. But the converse holds true that any form of expression in which automatism does not at least advance under cover runs a grave risk of moving out of the surrealist orbit. In the field of art, a work can be considered surrealist only in proportion to the efforts the artist has made to encompass the whole psychophysical field (in which the field of consciousness constitutes a only a very small segment). 141  Breton's poem-object of 1941 manifests that added degree of premeditation, so much so, that it succumbs to the risk of which Breton speaks. Breton's entry for the Artists in Exile show was accompanied by a rather lengthy explanatory essay.  This in and of itself is rather remarkable since such  objects usually were to confront an audience directly, unmediated by any sort of wordy instructive treatise.  The presence  of this essay stands as a glaring  compromise on the part of Breton, an individual who was not ordinarily given to assisting dilettantes through the complexities of his work. It read:  -61-  Example of an object-poem: Portrait of the Actor A . B . The author's initial project was to elucidate a particular graphological problem in so far as it affected him. Having noticed that his own signature, when reduced to initials, resembled the number 1713, he was led intuitively to see in this number nothing other than a date in European history and was curious enough to consider what outstanding events occurred during that year (it is entirely possible, in fact, that one at least of these events was of such a nature as to engender in him an unconscious fixation upon a past moment in time, and more specifically a personal identification with that moment). 1. Box on the left-hand side. - Interpretation: Perpetual ephemrides: empty recesses and driving belts (dialectical aspect of the moment in time: the actors disappear, but their message reaches us. The brown belt, seen at eye-level, assures the communication of movement between the two wheels). What traces of the passage of individuals? The marriage of Saunderson is recalled: this blind mathematician, inventor of a calculating machine which can be used without seeing the keys, described by Diderot (Lettre sur les aveugles), is represented in the right-hand central compartment by the figures 0, 1. 2, and 3,(on the broken mirror, and in allusion to other questions posed by Diderot to the blind: And what, in your opinion, is love?), the birth of Vaucanson, constructor of famous automatons, including an almost legendary duck which is said to have been able to eat and digest food (evoked by a bird's -eye-view photograph of the tip of Long Island as the 'Duck's Head'), and finally, by the birth of Diderot himself. In the field of military events affecting the social structure of the nation, 1713 is the year of the Treaty of Utrecht, a fairly disastrous termination, for France, of the War of the Spanish Succession: the inscription Paix pattes de velours, making use of the French expression 'faire patte de velours' (to draw in ones claws), and alluding also to Utrecht, a city world-famous for the velvets it manufactures, takes shape here in the form of a cat which can be fairly readily identified in the six bottom compartments: head and body, paws, tail. The eyes are, in fact, those of a lynx, no doubt because a blind man has just  passed by. The diplomats halt in front of the kleine Poortje (or the  Little Door, the name of a small Utrecht inn where, some sixty years previously, that most engaging of all seventeenth-century personalities, the Cardinal de Retz, infatuated with the servant-girl Annetje, had made his home after a series of extraordinary trials and tribulations) 2. Valise at the bottom. - Its cloudy glass panel reveals that it allows one to travel through time. 3.  Plaque on the right-hand side. - Through a Judas-hole in Port-  Royal destroyed but invulnerable I see you pope Clement XI you swine (on the spiritual level, 1713 was also the year which saw the promulgation of the bull Unigenitus which consolidated the victory of the Jesuits over the Jansenists, thus dismissing brutally the cogent  -62-  arguments put forward by Pascal and Racine and paving the way for a moral crisis the effects of which are perhaps more evident today than ever before. The abbey of Port-Royal, which was the focal point of Jansenist intellectual activity, had been raised the previous year and its cemetery ploughed up and sowed with salt. This plaque represents the papal bull itself, the invincible resistance opposed to it by certain historical figures, and the judas-hole through which one can see the historical events unwinding. The authors personal attitude towards this happening is made even clearer by the phrase the year of grace attached in the title to the numbers 1713, as also the gloomy atmosphere pervading the entire object). 142  U p o n reading this essay and regarding the work itself, one is struck by the degree of historical and personal content. While one may argue that it was Breton's intention to openly develop such issues, two points must be made. The first is that while such specificity is not unusual in Breton's essays, it is rarely if at all, encountered in the format of the poem-object. The second point is more contentious in nature and concerns Breton's awkward attempt to make this whole project appear as if derived almost entirely from orthodox surrealist methodology and not from a conscious and deliberate, that is to say, premeditated act  He  informed the viewer in his opening paragraph that the work came into being through a chance discovery that his initials resembled the date 1713, and that by using his intuitive and investigative prowess, he discovered certain events surrounding that date with which he had become unconsciously fixated upon and therefore, identified with. Breton asks us to believe then that the striking similarity between these well known events in French history with the ones he found himself in 1941 would never have consciously occurred to him without this revelation derived through surrealist methodologies. This pretext becomes especially apparent when investigating those events of 1713. The date 1713 as it relates to the Peace of Utrecht marked the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which effectively terminated Louis X I V ' s campaign to extend his rule over almost all of Europe (hence Breton's "to draw in ones  -63-  claws"). The war itself is regarded by some as "the first world w a r "  143  since it  concerned issues of commerce and naval supremacy rather than those of a religious nature and was fought on a huge scale involving not only the chief political powers of Europe, but overseas nations as well. Thus the war and its circumstances may be regarded as the first in a succession of world wars the third of which Breton found himself directly involved. What was of more relevance however, were the incidents at the colony of Port Royal about which Bretons work was primarily concerned. The history of the colony at Port Royal occupies a central place within the ecclesiastical and literary history of France. Originally founded as a convent in the thirteenth century, it was to function through a direct conferrence of the Papacy, as an asylum for reclusive lay persons who felt themselves in opposition to religious or societal constructs. Its function as such remained unchallenged over three centuries and in 1638 came to serve as the established center of Jansenism in France. As the century passed it was frequented by literary figures such as the poet Racine and Blaise Pascal, a major figure in the surrealist pantheon. It was from this supposed asylum that an organized and virulent attack was initiated by the Jansenists on the social and political aspirations and activities of the Jesuits. Furthermore, certain doctrinal aspects of Catholicism were challenged, the most inflammatory of which was the disputation of the infallibility of the Papacy. The Jesuits in collusion with Louis X I V who regarded Jansenism as nothing more than disguised Protestantism, responded by sending to the Bastille some of its offending members. This violation of the colony's status resulted in a tremendous outcry of protest from both ecclesiastical and scholarly figures. One of those was Pascal himself who in his well known Lettres provinciales published from 1656 to 1657, defended the colonies position and at the same time satirically attacked the morality of the Jesuits. The Lettres were themselves censured, and placed on the Index in 1657. In spite of these protests the colony could not bear up against the persecution of the Papacy and the  -64-  Jesuits supported by the military strength of the Monarchy. In 1709 a Papal bull issued by Pope Clement X I in condemnation of the colony was executed by Louis who sent the Paris police to the colony. There they bodily removed its members, destroyed all of its buildings and relics, disintered the bodies from its cemetery, and literally wiped out every trace of the establishment. In 1713 Clement X I issued yet another much harsher edict, the bull Unigenitus leading to further oppression. A s a result of this relentless persecution, many of the colonies former members were forced to seek refuge in other nations of Europe and even America. The direct relevance of this poem-object to the historical situation that Breton found himself in, is undisguisedly evident. The work itself functions as a mediating device, temporally binding the events of 1713 with those of 1941, offering Breton an opportunity to be openly critical of both time periods.  The social,  political and economic circumstances of the War of the Spanish Succession, the willful eradication of the colony at Port Royale and the violation of its autonomy and spirit of opposition, the unrelenting persecution and exodus of its residents, and finally, the futile involvement of Pascal who for Breton functioned as one in a series of key individuals through which a direct lineage to the past was established, all allude to this fact.  While Breton utilizes found objects in the work, they come  together not to undermine their utilitarian value as does the juxtaposition of string and knife in his earlier poem-object, but rather they assist in the delineation of a specific historical and personal dilemma: the photograph of Long Island, the brass hammer which must sound the alarm again and the valise, the constant companion of the exile. Poetically juxtaposed words and phrases flowing forth from suppressed desire, unleashed through the surrealist practice of automatic writing are replaced here by those characterized by their historical specificity: the direct reference to the colony at Port-Royale and Bretons awareness of the reemergence of Clement XI's oppressive legacy. This poem-object in its totality then, allowed Breton to express  -65-  his opposition to present events through an allusion to analogous ones in the past. In addition, this surrealist self-portrait, functioned during this period of exile, as a means by which Breton attempted to reclaim and proclaim a diminishing sense of self through an association with a sphere of notable historical kindred spirits. Finally, the works accompanying instructive essay, delineated for the viewer in case he or she missed the point (and they did), that work itself functioned as a selfportrait and as a personal condemnation of these past occurrences. A l l of this is not meant as an admonishment, but only that this degree of didacticism, whether understood by an American audience or not, was normally reserved for manifestos and essays and not for the medium of the poem-object.  144  A discussion has been developed around the issue of how emigres such as Ernst, Breton, Lipchitz and Tchelitchew attempted to directly address circumstances of the war primarily through departures in their works.  the Such  deviations did not occur in the work of Mondrian. The latter artist arrived in New Y o r k in October of 1940 and many of his works both finished and unfinished arrived just a few weeks later. Although he had some time to prepare new works, he chose instead to finish and exhibit a work begun in 1935.[fig.9] While this absence of the production of a new painting may partially have been due to the hardships of exile for a man now almost seventy years of age, his essays of the same period indicate that he believed his philosophical idealism was as relevant in 1942 as it was in the 1920's, and hence his works, a direct manifestation of that position, needed no alteration. Mondrian in fact believed that a work of total abstraction such as the one exhibited along side the others in the Artists in Exile show had a greater potential to directly engage the issues of the war than the works of his peers. This claim of course, must be investigated in order to gain insight into the nature of Mondrian's artistic position and how his work entered into a dialogue with others in the show.  -66-  The return to war gave Mondrian the opportunity to lapse into his sorry and tired diatribe on the artist as visionary. In an essay begun in Europe in 1940 entitled "Art shows the E v i l of Nazi and Soviet Oppressive Tendencies", which he rewrote and re titled in America in 1941-42 "Liberation From Oppression in A r t and Life", Mondrian stated: In these dark days, concentration on the evil of oppression in its deeper sense is difficult but necessary. A m i d a terrible reality it is difficult to think of our future. Pessimism comes over us; seeing actual events, confidence in life's progress weakens. Where to find, in spite of all, a true optimism about humanity's future? Plastic art, in its culture, can enlighten the future of mankind. If we see the culture of plastic art as continuous growth toward the full realization of its freedom, which contains a struggle against oppression, then one way for optimism is o p e n . 145  The question arises here as to the precise nature of Mondrian's grandiose claim that his abstract medium could possibly have served as a vehicle of optimism during this period of violent and tragic upheaval.  The answer is one which reveals the  repugnance of idealism when directly applied as causal explanation. Mondrian held that his work had revealed to him, and hence could communicate to others, the practical significance, if not the positive benefits of fascist aggression as a necessary obstacle which kept human history evolving towards an eventual state of freedom. H e wrote: In the present moment, oppression is so clearly evident that everyone must regard it as one of the greatest evils. But does everyone see this evil in its real significance, in its positive and negative factors? . . . Especially at present, it is important to see that throughout the course of history, human culture is constructive. This is its essential action. But each epoch always has and always needs its oppositions of destruction and construction . . . Plastic art shows us that in life and in art, we experience objective oppression from the reality around us and that we suffer subjective oppression from our personal, limited vision. 146  -67-  The rest of humanity, dwelling directly amidst the strife ridden social, political and economic realm of 1942 could only see life as change alone, as an endless series of gains and then terrible losses.  If society could be made aware of objective  oppression, that is, as a fundamental, and necessary force that compelled all living processes in the universe to dialectically move towards eventual freedom, then all would be more optimistic about the disastrous events of the war. This historicism that removes from the hands of human agents direct control over their own history by assigning it to higher objective forces, had hopefully disappeared at the end of the nineteenth century, but it emerges here once more, conveyed with Mondrian's visionary zeal. While one might object that art itself is subject to the forces of material oppression, especially during this period, Mondrian believed that the sort of artistic practice he was engaged in was immune from such influences. H e wrote in 1942: Plastic art is an abstract, a free domain of life: the causes and consequences of its expression are purely for study. It does not tolerate oppression and can resist it, for art is not bound by material or physical conditions. 147  This freedom from oppressive forces however, had not always been the case, but only recently achieved in the sort of abstraction which he was a practitioner of. In many ways similar to Greenberg's formalist theory, Mondrian regarded the history of painting as a continuous and progressive struggle to purify itself from oppressive social, political, and economic forces, towards the establishment of a relationship based exclusively upon the formal elements intrinsic to painting alone. Once these extrinsic influences had been banished, it was the artist's final task to resolve the struggle between  these elements  which were  themselves  varied and  oppositional, into a state of equilibrium on the surface of the canvas.  often  Since this  evolutionary progression towards freedom through the overcoming of catalytic  -68-  oppressive forces universally informed all living processes, it was  therefore,  necessarily existent in the varied forms of human activity, that is to say, the social, political and economic realms.  Here the specific sources of oppression were  regarded as "material and physical factors."  1 4 8  But as was the case in art, in their  struggle to free themselves from these factors, the various forms of human activity were entering into mutually antagonizing relationships. The task became then, just as it had been in art, not only to attain a "purification" in each of these realms by developing internal forms that would free man from material and physical needs, but as well, to bring each realm into a harmonious relationship with one another. Since art had actually evolved ahead of human history in its achievement of this goal, it offered a hopeful glimpse into the future in which the struggle between oppositional forces had been resolved into a state of coexistence. Mondrian wrote in "Toward the True Vision of Reality" in 1942: Because it is free of all utilitarian limitations, plastic art must move not only parallel with human progress but must advance ahead of it. It is the task of art to express a clear vision of reality. 149  What has not yet been dealt with, is why it was that Mondrian believed that a work such as the one he entered in the Artist's in Exile show formally addressed contemporary circumstances in a more pertinent way than those of either Ernst or Breton. Specifically of Surrealism and its methodologies Mondrian wrote in 1937: As for surrealism, we must recognize that it deepens feeling and thought, but since this deepening is limited by individualism it cannot reach the foundation, the universal. So long as it remains in the realm of dreams, which are only a rearrangement of the events of life, it cannot touch true reality. Through a different composition of the events of life, it may remove their ordinary course but it cannot purify them. Even the intention of freeing life from its conventions and from everything which is harmful to the true life can be found in surrealist literature. N o n figurative art is fully in agreement with this intention but it achieves its purpose; it frees its plastic means and its art from all particularity... it is the realization that matters. 150  -69-  But the supposed evolvement to a state of self purification was not the key to abstraction's superior relevance to the then current state of affairs. If art was to lead humanity to a Utopian future through the dense and obscure particulars of everyday existence, its formal elements would first have to engage the viewer through an appropriateness to those within contemporary human society. This had been achieved Mondrian believed, through the utilization of geometric forms, and more importantly, through rhythm as a formal quality created by an exact placement of those forms on the surface of the canvas. Formally, Mondrian's work is distinguished by its highly reduced geometrical appearance, that is, as a simple grid of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines, which in places defines the boundaries of unequal but formally balanced rectangles. The use of a form of mathematical language, that is geometry, was thought by Mondrian to be the definitive way of capturing and displaying universal principles in the particulars of paint and canvas. Mathematics at that time was believed to be a preexistent language system absolutely autonomous in nature. Its forms then, were regarded by Mondrian as inherently ideologically free. In addition, he also believed that the overall "scientific" appearance of his work would be highly appropriate to the promotion of contemporary technological society.  This enthusiasm for  technology epitomized by the machine as an image of perfection, a unity in which all the parts performed together completely in harmony with its function, had essentially remained undiminished from the 1920's. Thus in spite of the fact that the Utopian promises of technology had been called into disrepute, especially in light of the devastation of both wars, Mondrian still held that man's ultimate deliverance would be through science and technology. H e declared: Science and technics are abolishing the oppression of time. But these advances used on a wrong way still cause great dislocations. 151  -70-  This sentiment was expressed in "Liberation From Oppression in A r t and Life" also of the same year. Mondrian states: Fortunately, we can also enjoy modern construction, marvels of science, technique of all kinds, as well as modern art. We can enjoy real jazz and its dance; we see the electric lights of luxury and utility; the window displays. Even the thought of all this is gratifying. 152  N o doubt, Mondrian believed that the city of New York in many ways, exemplified an advanced stage in the evolution of man towards the actualization of a technologically oriented Utopian society. The purging of art from the extrinsic through the use of geometric forms was however, not the final stage of arts evolvement towards autonomy based upon the universal model of the dialectic. Nor was it the final expression of contemporary life. The ideal image was one in which the struggle amongst inherently oppositional formal elements would be resolved by bringing them into a relationship of equivalence in which each element was allowed to assert its own authority, but where no one element dominated the work as a whole. The achievement of this unity was referred to by Mondrian as "dynamic equilibrium". H e wrote: In art, as in life, it is the equivalence and not the equality of opposite factors that creates unity . . . A r t and life show that oppositions produce the continual destruction and construction of forms necessary to approach the establishment of complete life. In plastic art opposing factors annihilate each other in such a manner that there is no oppression: the result is u n i t y . 153  The correct placement of these disparate elements in natural opposition to one another was to be determined intuitively by the artist and ultimately by the viewer through rhythm as a formal quality. The rhythm liberated from the tyranny of the  -71-  struggle of amongst formal qualities was also Mondrian believed, the equivalent of that of modern life. Mondrian declared: Clearer rhythm produces clearer equilibrium . . . The purest rhythm must be the purest expression of life . . . In our time, rhythm is more and more accentuated, not only in art, but in mechanized reality and in the whole of life. Marvelously determined and full of vitality, it is expressed in real jazz, swing, and Boogie-Woogie music and dance. 154  Once again, as is alluded to in these passages, the "rhythm" of New Y o r k was thought by Mondrian to be the paradigmatic equivalent of the formal rhythm within his work, a concrete example one might say, of the ideals of D e Stijl. But ultimately Mondrian departs from the particulars of urban life to the rarified atmosphere of universals. H e declares: In human life, we see oppositions mainly as Good and Evil. The reciprocal action of these oppositions forms the rhythm of human life: it brings life toward unity. Thus, seeing Evil perform its purpose, the acceptance of it becomes obvious. 155  The repugnance of Mondrian's idealism is that rather than critically engaging on some level the material causes of the war such as works like Breton's or Ernst's, it offers consolation and even justification for the tragic loss of millions.  The  annihilation of human lives was deemed by Mondrian as a regretable but inevitable and necessary step on the way to Utopia. While this loss of life no doubt saddened Mondrian, the same was not true in regards to the ongoing destruction of Europe's cultural heritage. Mondrian loathed the past and all that was physically associated with it.  Its cultural objects were seen as sources of a regressive nostalgia and  romanticism that impeded societie's evolvement. To quote Mondrian at length: In general, all particularities of the past are as oppressive as darkness. The past has a tyrannic influence which is difficult to escape. The worst is that there is always something of the past within us. We have  -72-  memories, dreams - we hear the old carillons; enter the old museums and churches; we see old buildings everywhere . . . For modern man, the great art of antiquity reveals itself more or less as darkness, even when it is not dark or tragic; a white marble statue expressing peaceful, dreamy romanticism, a devout religious conception, can be oppressive as a dark, murky picture . . . Modern life and art are annihilating the oppression of the past . . . .In war many relics of the past are destroyed, among them beautiful specimens of art. Obviously it is hard to see beautiful things disappear. But life, as continuous progress, is always right. 1  Thus stated, Mondrian's position in 1942 which seeks "purification" through the violent riddance of the art and architecture of the past is reduced to the highly objectionable one of war as hygiene. While the position of this thesis on Mondrian's essays and hence his work during this period is one of open condemnation, an empathetic gesture must be extended in regards to the hardships of exile. Mondrian's continued insistence in these later essays on a position formulated years earlier, could be considered as clinging to a past identity in the face of adversity.  But the circumstances  surrounding his stay in New York indicate that he did not severely suffer from the debilitating effects of dislocation. Unlike many of the artist emigre's, Mondrian seemed to feel quite at home in New York.  This rapid acclimatization was  fundamentally due to two factors. Firstly, there is the much written about love of New Y o r k as an urban center, and especially its dance and jazz clubs which the artist celebrated in his essays and in his Victory Boogie-Woogie of 1943. Frank Elgar wrote in his text Mondrian: Instead of feeling out of place in the New World, he found its atmosphere somehow familiar. It is here, he thought that the civilization and the culture of the future were to be fashioned; here, too, more than anywhere else, neo-plasticism would have every chance. Far from being overwhelmed by the Dantesque spectacle of New York, he felt reassured by it. The straight lines of the streets, the verticals of the skyscrapers, the rectangles of the windows infinitely repeated in the long lines of the facades, were the image . . . of the scheme that he had for so long occupied his m i n d . 157  -73-  Secondly, and I believe more importantly, highly significant to Mondrian's adjustment to New Y o r k as an exile was the fact that he did not sustain financial impoverishment as so many others did. His clean, crisp geometric abstractions were regarded in America as being quite decorative, which resulted in their marketability and Mondrian's financial independence.  158  Michel Seuphor wrote that "Mondrian,  after a year's stay in New York, had a sufficient income. His art dealer, Valentin Dudensing sold his canvases without any difficulty at prices of about $200, at times higher."  159  This insulated him from the necessity of having to directly come to grips  with many of the disturbances of the war. Insularity, of course, was nothing new to Mondrian.  His hermetic existence, living in isolation almost entirely within the  sterile neoplastic confines of studio, is well known and need not be dealt with here in detail.  However, these personal circumstances are of importance when  approaching both his essays and his work of this period. Whether in New York, London or Paris, Mondrian always had sufficient patronage to indulge his reclusiveness, an existence largely free from the intrusions and disruptions of daily living.  When the war broke out in Europe Mondrian's  response was predictable. Elgar wrote: Mondrian's reactions to approaching war were typical; he saw it less as a collective misfortune than as a personal affront, an intolerable cause of turmoil that would disturb, and possibly destroy the wellordered universe he had created and of which he himself was the centre. 160  Only months after Mondrian arrived in New York in 1940, he recreated yet another neoplastic studio into which he retreated. O f these living quarters in America Elgar mused:  -74-  For, wherever he lived, he furnished and decorated in the same way, according to the principles of his doctrine. H e could have lived equally easily in any town in the world, so long as he had a room arranged according to these laws. His studio was like one of his pictures, just as each one of his pictures was drawn in his own image. H e lived in it just as in his work. It was the dwelling of a grand solitaire. 161  While it is not the intention of this thesis to rely excessively on information of a biographical nature, these aspects of Mondrian's disengaged sociopathic existence offer insight into the origins of his essays and works, ones that were especially repellant at this time in history. The response of the press to the works in the Artists in Exile show largely substantiated  the doubts that Greenberg and Noch harboured.  The reviews  revealed little comprehension of the various movements represented, and almost no understanding of either the works' engagement of the historical moment or how they entered into a dialogue with each other.  While most of the works were  received with subdued approval, works such as Breton's poem-object resulted in a great deal of bafflement. In addition, the less approachable works confirmed what a segment of New York's art community had suspected about European modern art all along; that it was deliberately obscurantist, perpetrated by those possessed of limited artistic skills.  In addition, what was not generally well received in the  written reviews during this period of cultural isolationism, was the  manifesto's  proposal that this diverse display of modernist practices be grafted on to American cultural life. Margaret Breuning's review of the show in the New Y o r k Journal American on March 8th 1942, immediately took issue with the elementary presentation of these movements and the suggestion that American artists must absorb European avant-garde methodologies and embark upon a new direction in their artistic practice. Her choice of words reveals a resistance based upon cultural nationalist  -75-  sentiment.  She rebukes the manifesto's authors by stating that American artists  have (too) long been familiar with cubism, surrealism, and neo-romanticism and needed no introduction. She writes: "The stimulating effect of the School of Paris appears several years ago to have been absorbed and interpreted in an American idiom. We have abstract painters, a few who dabble in Surrealism and a number who have clung to cubism . . , "  1 6 2  She doubts that any graft could take place since  the effects of the "novelty" of these schools referred to here as "foreign ideologies" has "long since worn off." She states: "it appears that in the main, American artists are attempting to find an artistic language consonant with their native accent, and congruous with their way of life and living."  163  While she does not want to appear  ungracious, she declares: Perhaps some of our provincialism will wear off from such contacts, but we shall never become imitators of a cosmopolitan accent, however much we may admire it in others. We must work out our own salvation as all artists must, in our own w a y . 164  While one might anticipate a review such as Breuning's in a newspaper format, an article in A r t Digest on March 15 also took issue with the show's manifesto on the same grounds. It read: Long before bombs began shaking Europe's foundation, that continent exerted a powerful influence on American culture and thought. Americans went to Europe to study, they soaked themselves in the currently popular idioms of expression and returned to their native soil. With them came a European coloration that seeped into American art, staining it deeply . . . So their coming does not introduce an entirely new element into the American cultural body, but rather intensifies an element already existing. This intensification has led to much speculation as to what its effect will b e . 165  As far as its own speculation was concerned, the article offered nothing new. Instead, it chose to support Breuning's position by quoting verbatim and at length  -76-  her nationalistic diatribe on how American art will never imitate that of other nations and must find a path of its own. One article that best revealed the nationalistic war time mood of America through its selection of language and analogies, was entitled "First Fruits of Exile" written by Rosamund Frost the managing editor of A r t News. She opened with a statement that pitted European culture against that of America in a rather combative way. She declared: A few years before the First World War had cranked up the now furiously racing motor of history, a noted writer startled people by announcing that 'peaceful infiltration precedes conquest by a hundred years.' Today things happen faster . . . In less than a decade, America has made room for the biggest intellectual and artistic migration since the fall of Constantinople. Outwardly the infiltration has been peaceful enough, yet the conflict is already on and, as there is no melting pot which fuses ideas, one side or the other must inevitably dominate. 166  The reviews' handling of formal analysis revealed an awkwardness, and at times an incomprehensibility and even indignation when confronted with works not easily approached. Breuning in her article chose to avoid any formal analysis at all. Others dealt with the works in a minimal and awkward fashion. A . Z . Kruze wrote in the Brooklyn Eagle on March 8th, "Max Ernst has painted a 'sur-realistic' canvas of sheer beauty and magnitude".  H e refers to Tanguy's work as "a magnificent  equivalent of double talk in paint", and Berman's painting as "a moving piece of glorious realism."  167  While one might expect this abbreviated treatment in  newspaper articles, art journals were no exception. A r t Digest strung together a curt series of descriptive phrases such as the "eerily mooded 'Time and Time Again", or "the intensity of Masson's 'The Seeded Earth", or the "eerie imagination in Tchelitchew's 'The Green L i o n . "  168  When in depth analyses are attempted curious  results often followed. Rosamund Frost's review of Ernst's Europe After the Rain  -11-  revealed a certain ineptitude in her attempt to optimistically transform that which was potentially confronting. She wrote: We feel as though his decay-riddled forms had passed the corruption stage, and finally turned into something organic, even useful, like a cross section of a lung or a piece of cheese . . . it is the most optimistic commentary on destruction we have seen y e t . 169  A n article that appeared in the New York Herald Tribune written by Royal Cortissoz, was an open condemnation of the show in its entirety. Such a repudiation from this long time opponent of modernist art might be expected, but his views must be taken into consideration as representative of a segment of the New York art community. In addition, they offer insight into the reception of the European artist emigres. Cortissoz wrote: "While one or two of them are good craftsmen . . . too many members of the group practice an unfathomable obscurantism." H e bitterly complained that there was "no picture readily perceptible in M r .  Mondrians  "Picture". O f Breton's work he stated: "The trend towards puzzlement leads to the aggregation of hardware, pins, bits of broken mirror and miscellaneous objects, set against a black background which M r . Breton, the concoctor of the thing, calls Toem-Object, Portrait of the Actor A . B . ' This threatens to reduce to absurdity the directions taken by the whole company involved in the show." H e concluded by referring to the manifesto as "a dithy-ramb" which purports that "these painters have brought us art in high denominations.' O n which one can only say: 'Indeed!"  170  Cortissoz was not the only reviewer to object to the lack of immediate comprehensibility in many of the works. Edward Alden Jewell wrote an article for the New York Times on March 7th in which he expressed his perplexity. O f Tchelitchew's "The Green Lion", he wrote: "It will possibly prove puzzling to any one literal enough to expect to find a lion in the design. Tchelitchew might better have borrowed from Debussy the more quietly enigmatic title 'Green', and let it go  -78-  at that, though to be sure there is no great harm done as it i s . " ' 1  1  O f Breton's  "Poem-Object, Portrait of the Actor A B ", he declared in bewilderment: "The exhibition's superlative puzzler is Breton's 'Poem O b j e c t ' . . . What most visitors are going to make of Breton's neat box of gadgets viewed from that angle I should not care to speculate about."  172  Nevertheless, Jewell was one of very few reviewers who  does discuss at least one work in relationship to current events.  H e wrote that  Masson's "Seeded Earth" was "violent enough to suggest direct relationship to the state of the world in this year of grace."  173  In regards to the exiled artists themselves, little is said. But what is observed is quite telling.  Displaying a profound lack of understanding of harrowing  experiences of the exiled artists while in Europe, Rosamund Frost wrote: "The broadening thing about travel, is that it brings the most unlikely people together."  174  In addition, she succumbs to the illusionary alliance propagated in the group photo. She wrote "this photo unites the most diverse factors in the European scene."  175  Newsweek magazine said little about the artists or their works but seemed well aware of America's new position of global dominance.  In an article entitled  "Refugee Review" on March 9th, the author proclaimed: "since the  Nazis'  occupation, Paris has yielded its position as the world's number one art capital to New Y o r k . . . this weeks show calls attention to fabulous Manhattan's latest claim to fame."  176  There was one review however, that was empathetic to the artists' position as exiles. Henry McBride's article in the New York Sun on March 6th took the "clever" writers of the manifesto to task over their contrived optimism. H e stated: The catalogue is very disturbing. While not expressly stated yet the hope is implied that all these flowering branches from a culture of another country may be grafted upon the American tree of life and with happy results to all concerned. The chances for this, I am afraid, are slight. Exile is never nice and only rarely is transplantation successful. 177  -79-  Of the artist-emigre's dilemma he expresses empathy, writing: Exile has been forced upon them against their will, and the emotional flow of their constructive thinking must be, one imagines seriously interfered with. . . . The mental sustenance upon which they must thrive can only be supplied by the cosmopolitan crowd; and the essential vitamins, one fears are not to be easily had in that quarter. So the future of them, and for us in relation to them is problematic. No one knows the answer although the quacks, of course, will do plenty of foretelling. 178  For all intents and purposes, the strategy of the Artists in Exile show's was a failure.  Its direct appeals to patriotism and opportunism that sought to relocate  European avant-garde practice in America, were largely met with ambivalence by New York's art critics.  Without their endorsement there was little chance of  patronage upon which this continuence would have to depend. The organizers of the show had simply misread their American audience. While political isolationism was no longer a viable position in March of 1942, cultural isolationism, based upon a wartime rise in American nationalism, became even stronger.  This resulted in a  hypersensitivity to aliens and alien ideologies and hence a resistance to any suggestion that these foreign practices be encorporated into the body of American culture. This lack of success however, was not simply due to a general resistance to European culture. As we have seen, attempts to transplant other aspects of this culture on American soil employing the same appeals had met with more success. The resistance to European modern art was then, based upon the specific nature of its practices.  It had been ousted by fascism and exploited as the culture of the  "other" primarily due to its often radical departure from realism. When it arrived in America, it was met with resistance largely for the same reason. European scholarly pursuits in the humanities and the sciences however, even when at times not fully understood, appeared politically neutral and for the most part, did not visibly antagonize or threaten American culture.  -80-  In addition, it was expected that  advanced levels of scholarly expertise imported from Europe would not at first be understood. The same was not true of European modern art. The works presented in the Artists in Exile show, often foreign and difficult to understand, directly confounded American cultural expectations. If these latter practices were to gain a foothold, alternate strategies would have to be employed to overcome native prejudice.  -81-  CONCLUSION  A Coney Island Consciousness  Given the failure of the Artists in Exile show to win over the American viewing public, what becomes of interest is how it came about that European avantgarde practices would eventually come to have such a profound effect on American art over the course of the next decade. This success was largely due to the eventual presentation of these works in a fashion more ideally suited to the American audience; a blend of high culture and entertainment, a spectacle to coat this bitter pill. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer wrote a great deal in the late 1940's and early 1950's on the attempt by the American plutocracy to maintain control over the mass man through the total commodification of culture, or as they wrote: "to make him all the more subservient to his adversary the absolute power of capitalism."  179  Part of creating such subservience, was to filter everything, especially  potentially confrontational material, through the entertainment industry.  Even  American isolationist sentiment began to be broken down through transforming the deadly serious issue of Hitler and fascism into subjects for Hollywood war movies and even cartoons.  The popular press ran articles entitled "Mickey Mouse and  Donald Duck work for Victory" or "Walt Disney Goes to W a r " .  180  These efforts  were often designed to create an awareness of, and eventually a need to participate in the war and war production. This embedding of contentious issues in popular culture forms was a specific strategy adopted by two subsequent shows in the very same year as the Artists in Exile show: The First Papers of Surrealism at the Reid Mansion in November of 1942, and the opening of Peggy Guggenheim's show, A r t of This Century in the same month. The latter show, was the most successful in  -82-  establishing European avant-garde practices in America through a fusion of political issues and popular culture. The First Papers of Surrealism organized on behalf of the Coordination Council of French Relief Societies displayed works by European modern artists such as Klee, Miro, Masson, Ernst, Seligmann, Magritte and M a t t a .  181  But this time,  images by lesser known Americans, notably Motherwell, Baziotes, Hare and Cornell, were also included. The show was curated by the master of Dadaism, Marcel Duchamp, who wound some two miles of string amongst all the various images. This giant spider's web ensnared, and hence visibly united, the works of two continents, [fig. 10] The string according to Andre Masson was meant to politicize the works by symbolizing the barbed wire of a concentration c a m p .  182  However,  Duchamp was far from finished. H e secured Calder's help in making triangular shapes out of newspapers called papillotes and interspersed them amongst the string.  183  When Andre Breton arrived at  the  gallery, he was  appalled,  characterizing the setting as a "joke", and insisted that at least the papillotes had to go.  184  This difference of methodologies between Breton and Duchamp represented  a typical confrontation between the Dadaist and Surrealists.  For Duchamp the  juxtaposition of the works, string and papillotes, was meant to undermine the tradition of painting and the gallery system. For Breton however, this juxtaposition constituted a confrontation of the gallery goers pleasurable expectations in order to force him or her to reflect upon the current threat posed to artistic practice. Unbeknownst to Breton though, Duchamp had enlisted the help of Sidney Janis's 11 year old son and his friends on opening night. H e encouraged them to play football, hopscotch, and jacks amongst the images and string throughout the entire evening. By closing time everyone, dressed in tails and evening gowns, was as well playing ball and skipping rope. The show's political message was lost, but it was greatly enjoyed by all in attendance.  -83-  If The First Papers of Surrealism approached the level of a spectacle, Peggy Guggenheim's show, A r t of This Century fully achieved it. It opened on October 20th 1942, a virtual recreational park of modern art, fondly declared by the press as an "artistic Coney Island."  185  It presented the art works by means of a plethora of  mechanized side-show gadgets including conveyor belts, spinning wheels, peep shows, and cantilevered arms. These contrivances were placed in a room with long narrow curved walls, creating a womb like atmosphere.[fig.ll]  In another two  rooms, cubist and abstract art were displayed beside the works of a few new American artists including Jackson Pollock.  If this show was conceived of as a  "three ring c i r c u s " , then Guggenheim can be viewed as its ringmistress. Standing 186  in the middle of this spectacle, she endeavored to unite the diversity of modernist practices by presenting herself as an embodiment of reconciliation: from one ear dangled a huge abstract wire mobile by Calder, and from the other, a tiny pink oval surrealist desert landscape by Tanguy. Guggenheim was perceived by the public as someone of celebrity status. Even before this show, the press had been following her activities in Europe, billing her as the savior of Western culture. The New York Times in 1939 stated that "Peggy Guggenheim while old cities crumble, is saving art treasures for a post-war world."  187  Her triumphant return to America on the arm of Max Ernst, was given  all the attention normally reserved for a movie star.  Fittingly, newspaper and  journal art critics from coast to coast enthusiastically hailed the opening of her gallery.  Guggenheim was well aware of the aura of political intrigue that  surrounded both her and her collection, and astutely capitalized upon it as means to win over an American audience resistant to modern art. This strategy was clearly evident in the catalogue which accompanied the show. The A r t of This Century catalogue was an extremely professional production. For its publication, Guggenheim enlisted the individual input of each of the exiles,  -84-  realizing that the  solicitation of their active support would facilitate the  establishment of her gallery. Part of the catalogue's production was turned over to Breton who gathered biographical information on each of the artists along with their individualized statements.  This information was printed under a dramatic  photograph of each of their eyes, a presentation perpetuating the myth of the artist as seer.[fig.l2] The catalogue also included lengthy essays by Max Ernst, Breton, and even the Futurist Manifesto. What is of fundamental importance i n relation to the Artists i n Exile show however, is the furtherance of the appeal to American patriotism, and the continued association of the rejection of modern artistic practices with fascist doctrine. The very first statements which the reader encountered i n the catalogue were designed to engage cultural isolationist sentiment. These included two shorter ones by Herbert Read on the importance of artistic freedom, and a more lengthy one by Adolf Hitler issued in 1937. The motives for this latter inclusion are absolutely transparent when considering the comments made by some of the reviewers i n reference to the works i n the Artists in Exile show. It reads: How deeply this corruption of taste had eaten into the German mind was shown in the material submitted for hanging by artists i n the House of German Art. There were pictures with green skies and purple seas. There were paintings which could by explained only by abnormal eyesight or willful fraud on the part of the painter. If they really paint in this manner because they see things that way, then these unhappy persons should be dealt with i n the department of the Interior where sterilization of the insane is dealt with, to prevent them from passing on their unfortunate inheritance. If they really do not see things like that and still persist in painting i n this manner, then these artists should be dealt with by the criminal courts. 188  To reinforce the factuality of this statement, Guggenheim had Jean Helion recount on opening night his escape from a German concentration c a m p .  189  But all of these  political ploys, while no doubt effective, were buried along with the works under this  -85-  tumultuous presentation. Guggenheim declared afterwards: "If the pictures suffered from the fact that their setting was too spectacular and took peoples' attention from them, it was at least a marvelous decor and created a stir."  190  Guggenheim's role was then, the arbitrator between European modernist art and the American patron.  H e r success in bringing the two together was  acknowledged by Eleanor Shaw of Washington's Spokesman Review. She wrote on November 8th 1942: The new school of this art. . . needed a patron saint to exploit its merits in a highly artistic and appropriate manner in order to become universally understood. This role has been played by Miss Peggy Guggenheim . . . who has opened a large gallery on West Fifty-seventh street which has created no less than a sensation among art patrons. 9 1  Indeed Guggenheim had found an appropriate manner to display these works to an American patron, and while hardly "highly artistic", it set the stage for the successful transplantation of European avant-garde practices in America. But that transaction in and of itself, is yet another episode in this story.  -86-  ENDNOTES 1. Laura Fermi, Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration from Europe 1930-1942. (Chicago: Universtiy of Chicago Press, 1968), p.71. 2. Roger Daniels, "American Refugee Policy in Historical Perspective," in The Muses Flee Hitler: Cultural Transfer and Adaptation. 1930-1945 Jarrel C. Jackman and Carla M . Borden eds. (Washington D . C : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983), p.62. 3. David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis 1938-1941 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1968). 4. Herbert A . Strauss, "The Movement of People in a Time of Crisis," In The Muses Flee Hitler: Cultural Transfer and Adaption 1930-1945 Jarrel C . Jackman and Carla M . Borden eds. (Washington D . C : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983), p.52. 5. Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in Roger Daniels, "American Refugee Policy in Historical Perspective", p.65. 6. Myron C. Taylor, as quoted in Roger Daniels, p.65. 7. Helmut F . Pfanner, Exile in New York: German and Austrian Emigre Writing 1933-1945 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983), p. 137. 8. Walter Cook, quoted in Fermi, p.78. 9. The New Y o r k Times. May 13, 1933, p.7. Donald Kent in his text The Refugee Intellectual: The Americanization of The Immigrants of 1933-1941 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1953), reports that Johnson was highly successful in his efforts, placing 26 professors in its graduate faculty and 30 in departments at other universities, (p. 117) 10. Laura Fermi reports that also begun in the early 1930's was a much larger group effort, the Emmergency Committee in A i d of Foreign Displaced Scholars chaired once more by heads of universities and various other educational institutions. Its size, prestige and organizational skills gave access to greater funding than smaller projects such as the U.I.E., drawing most of its support from large foundations. The committee's attitude towards the placement of refugees was also strategically different than Johnson's. They believed that concentrations of exiles at single institutions would be both a discouragement to integrate, and give the emigres a high profile that might stir feelings of antagonism in an anti-alien atmosphere. Consequently, they attempted to arrange for positions at universities right across America even though the vast majority were eventually placed in the Eastern States were isolationist sentiment was somewhat less intense, (p.75.) A l v i n Johnson wrote in "The Refugee Scholar in America," Survey Graphic (April 1941), p.261, that the exiled scholars were met with "more hospitality by the private than by the public institutions: more hospitality by the institutions in the northeastern than those of the middleastern and Pacific States. Comparatively few have been placed in the Southern States." Donald Kent wrote in his text The Refugee Intellectual: The Americanization of the Immigrants of 1933-1941 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1953), that the two largest foundations were the Oberlaender Trust and the  -87-  Rockefeller Foundation. The latter of these was the greatest contributor and the first to come to these groups aid. (pp.115-116) The Rockefeller Foundation's outlook was decidedly internationalist and remained so throughout the war. It had been involved in overseas acedemic research and when Germany began its dismissal of scholars in 1933, it became deeply apprehensive. This concern escalated until it became a fundamental issue upon which the foundation stood in the early 1940's. In its Presidents Review of 1936, it announced that with its financial assistance, a book was published in London entitled List of Displaced German Scholars. This text was a veritable catalogue of Germany's finest scholars in exile, representing more than sixty academic disciplines. It was no doubt, of great help to Johnson and the Emergency Committee. By 1940 with the war now raging in Europe, the Foundation became even more resolute in regards to its internationalist position. In its Presidents Review of that year, Raymond B . Fosdick made the strongest statement yet on its continued intentions to support various organizations devoted to the rescuing of refugee scholars. It declared its disapproval of the closing down of academic projects in which it had a financial and scholarly interest. In addition, it expressd its opposition to the American governments isolationist policy stating: "They (the government) constitute one further bit of evidence, if further evidence is needed, of the breakdown in international solidarity which in the realm of scholarship at least, had become a vital factor of progress." Since the government had no intention of directly rescuing refugee scholars, and had under new regulations of the Treasury Department forbidden foundations to make payments of any kind to the newly occupied countries, it had no other choice than to give its total financial support to efforts such as Johnsons and the Emergency Committee in A i d of Displaced Foreign Scholars. [See The Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report (1940), pp.7-14.] 11. Fermi, pp.82-83. 12. These recommendations often led to entire departments being staffed with emigres. One such example of this "clustering" was the art history department at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York where Walter cook with the help of the exiled Irwin Panofsky, staffed the Institute almost entirely with emigres. While protests were issued, the Institute at the same time experienced "a remarkable rise in celebrity." Fermi,pp.82-83, 247-249. 13. The authors site as the greatest obstacles to the refugee coming to America, quota limitations and the provision barring persons likely to become public charges. This latter restriction, the L.P.C. clause, became especially restrictive during the depression years due to mass unemployment. A s refugees, few had the financial resources to qualify, and the depression greatly reduced the possibility of sponsorship. [See Lewis and Marian Schibsby, "Status of the Refugee Under American Immigration Laws," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 203 (May 1939), p.75.] 14. While cultural and political internationalists were both decidely anti-fascist and shared a concern for the dilemma of the European refugees, the former did not necessarily subscribe to an interventionalist position. They perceived European culture not so much in chains as it was on the run. Hence, what was required was not direct intervention but the transformation of the immigration system into a nonmilitaristic means of rescue.  -88-  15. Wyman, p.44.  16. Ibid., p.47. 17. Erica Mann and Eric Estorick, "Private and Governmental A i d of Refugees," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 203 (May 1939), p.131. Wyman in his text claims that most of the time was spent reviewing refugee colonization projects. H e states that these plans were highly unrealistic and at times quite odd, whereby "brave new refugee worlds" and Jewish homelands were planned in the most exotic of places such as the Orinoco lowlands and the plateaus of southwest Africa. H e writes: "Only the circumstances of blank walls on all sides could have made such Utopian solutions seem possible." (p.58) 18. Varian Fry, Surrender on Demand (New York: Random House, 1954), p.ix. 19. Fermi reports that the Ecole gave out diplomas that were recognized by DeGaulle's wartime government for civil service positions in Africa after the establishment of the Commitee of National Liberation in Algiers in 1943. It was hoped that the Ecole would become a permanent French university in America, facilitating both the passing on of French culture and the production of teachers who would be able to teach French in American educational institutions. However, these latter hopes were dashed when many French emigres returned home "decimating the faculty of the Ecole." (pp.74-76) 20. What is of interest here is that even though P . A . C . advised the government, it was not a governmental agency. Its president George Warren's salary and all office expenses were paid by private political, labour, religious, and professional groups in America. Wyman, p. 139.  21. Ibid., p.137. 22. Ibid., p.141.  23. Ibid., p. 138. 24. Ibid., pp. 136-138. 25. Daniels reports that although 3,268 of these visitors visas were issued, the obstacles presented resulted in only one third of them being used, (p.70) 26. The Committee was headed by D r . Frank Kingdon, president of the University of Newark, Robert Hutchens of the University of Chicago, Alvin Johnson, William A . Nebon of Smith Collage, George Shuster of Hunter College, and Charles Seymour of Yale University. [See Cynthia Jaffe McCabe, "Wanted by the Gestapo: Saved by America," In The Muses Flee Hitler: Cultural Transfer and Adaptation 1930-1945 (Washington D . C : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983) p.80.] 27. Irene Patai, Encounters: The Life of Jacques Lipchitz (New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1961), p.302. 28. McCabe reports that the pamphlet approached prospective donors in a straightforward pragmatic fashion proposing that a modest donation of $350.00 would save one refugees life, (p.80.)  -89-  29. This audience took some effort but largely due to the notoriety of the Committees membership, they were successful. Two members were sent, Karl Frank and Joseph Buttinger, the latter of whom reported that after having read their collective list, Roosevelt phoned her husband directly and in their presence broached him on the possibility of obtaining visas for the named individuals. When the president expressed his reluctance, she apparently issued a threat stating that if the necessary visas were not issued, a ship would be rented, filled with endangered refugees, and once in America would "cruise up and down the east coast until the American people out of shame and anger . . . (would) force the President and the Congress to permit these victims of political persecution to land." [See Mary Jayne Gold, Crossroads Marseilles 1940 (New York: Doubleday, 1980) pp.xii-xiv.] While Roosevelt's help was instrumental in the rescuing of many refugees, she was not by any means a lone crusader. While anti-alien sentiment was strong in Congress, especially since the State Department was headed by Assistant Secretary Breckenridge who was openly opposed to any influx of foreigners into America, the government was not unaware of the opportunity offered by this mass exodus. In 1940, the State Department issued a press release expressing its interest in bringing to America, those of the highest calibre. It read: "In exceptional circumstances Visitors Visas may be useful in saving persons of exceptional merit, those of superior intellectual attainment . . . experienced in vigorous support of Liberal government and who are in danger of persecution, or death at the hands of autocracy." McCabe, p.80. 30. Gold, p.xiv. 31. Fry, p.ix.  32. Ibid., p.ix. 33. Alfred J. Noch, "Culture Migrates to the U.S.A.," American Mercury (April 1939), pp.483-484. 34. Ibid., p.484. 35. Ibid., p.483. 36. Clement Greenberg, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch," in Clement Greenberg: The Collected Essays and Critism. Volume I Perceptions and Judgements 1939-1944 edited by John O'Brian (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986), p. 19. 37. Ibid.,?.II. 38. Fry, p.xii. 39. Victor Serge, Memories of a Revolutionary 1901-1941 translated by Peter Sedgwick (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), p.362. 40. Ibid., p.362. 41. Ibid., pp.363-4. America's inaction was not only expressed in its limited issuing of visas. Wyman in his text condemns America for not extending other forms of assistance. H e cites as an example, the denials to requests for ships to help refugees get out of still unoccupied areas. The vast bulk of passenger snipping was out of  -90-  Lisbon. It reached a critical stage in the winter and spring of 1941 when it was announced that those wishing to leave might have to wait as long as a year to do so. In March of 1941, P . A . C . requested that in light of this crisis, the government might assign the Washington and Manhattan to the Lisbon route to at least get refugees out of immediate danger. While this act would have been quite acceptable for a neutral government, permission was denied. They offered as cause for refusal that such a venture would make these vessels targets for Germany's navy, and hence, insurance costs would rise. A week and a half later the State Department informed P . A . C . that "the Army had chartered the Washington and that the Manhattan would be in dry dock for the next three months." (pp. 153-155) 42. Bernard Noel, Marseilles-New York: A Surrealist Liason. (Marseilles: Agep Press, 1985), p. 10. 43. Patai, p.301. 44. Although the villa was host to a variety of artists and intellectuals, it took on a Surrealist atmosphere. This was largely the case since most of its membership was present in Marseilles. Every Sunday there was a Surrealist gathering at the villa. Andre Breton, the leader of the movement, would lord over games usually centered around the theme of "The Exquisite Cadaver". Fry wrote in Surrender on Demand t h a t " . . . he (Breton) would get out his collection of old magazines, coloured paper , pastel chalks, scissors and paste pots, and everyone would make montages, draw or cut out paper dolls. A t the end of the evening Andre would decide who had done the best work crying "Formidable*. Sensationell" In attendance were artists and writers such as Victor Brauner, Oscar Dominquez, Max Ernst, Jacques Herold, Wilfedo Lam, Andre' Masson, Hans Belmer, Benjamin Peret and Tristan Tzara. (p.117) 45. Fry's undercover operation was in direct response to the chaotic situation in Marseilles in 1940. The nature of his mission and his decision to help all he could whether on his list or not, necessitated assistance from every source possible. In no time, Fry was involved with the underground and the black market, illegally trading American dollars, and having official papers and exit visas altered or forged, all with great success. It was these activities that came to the attention of the American government through that of Vichy, who began to complain bitterly. While it would appear that the American government was willing to allow Fry's direct intervention for a period of time, they eventually could no longer endure the embarrassment of his activities and supported his forced removal from French soil. 46. Gold,p.207. 47. Throughout 1941, the New Republic charged that anti-semitism on the part of American consuls overseas was hampering the efforts of rescue groups to get Jews out of France. Wyman reports that Fry complained that some of the consuls were openly opposed to issuing visas to Jews. A French woman who was assisting another American relief group, related to Fry how one official at the American Embassy at Vichy had told her that he hoped she was not attempting to help Jews emigrate. When she confronted him as to what he thought should be done with the Jewish refugees, "he hunched his shoulders in the position of a man holding a submachine gun and said: Ptt-ptt-ptt-ptt-ptt." Wyman, p.163. 48. Gold,p.291.  -91-  49. Ibid., p.333. 50. McCabe,p.90. 51. G o l d writes that orders were given in Marseilles to round up all foreign Jews staying at local hotels. One of those taken into custody was Marc Chagall. Fry immediately phoned police headquarters and attempted to intimidate them by informing them that "Chagall happened to be one of the world's greatest living painters; if word should leak out about his arrest it would put Vichy in a very poor light and the Marseilles police in a worse one; if Monsieur Chagall was not released within half an hour he, Varian Fry, would be forced to phone the New York Times directly." Fry's ploy worked. One hour later, Chagall was returned safely to his hotel, (p.334) 52. The political refugees were srongly bound together by their common predicament. Fry recounts numerous events that alluded to a temporary putting aside of intellectual and\or artistic differences. They were as the saying goes, "all in one boat." Perhaps no one incident relays the grim reality of this analogy more than when Marshall Petain came to town. When it was announced that Marshall Petain was to arrive in Marseilles in December of 1940, the police began routing out those suspected of communist activities. They arrived at the villa and in spite of Fry's protests, began a thorough search of it. What they found was a surrealist drawing. Fry wrote in Surrender on D e m a n d . " . . . it was one of the things left over from the previous night's contest. It contained, amongst other things, a Gallic cock beneath which someone had written "Le terrible Cretan de Petain". Breton protested that "the word is not 'Petain' but 'Putain'. It is a comment by a friend on a friend. It does not concern the Marshall". Such a defence was not convincing enough to overcome police suspicion, and the drawing was declared revolutionary propaganda. The occupants of the villa along with 600 other prisoners were forcefully taken to the SS Sinaia anchored in the harbour. Fry wrote: "In the afternoon of the second day, we were all ordered below . . . the cover had been put over the hatch and all the portholes closed. We supposed then,that we were about to set sail for Africa and the Saharan concentration camp." But the boat never moved. Finally, when Petain left Marseilles, all were allowed to return to the mainland, (pp. 139-145) It is experiences such as these that reveal why, for a short period of time, these men seemed to coalesce. 53. Theodor Adorno, "Scientific Experiences of a European Scholar in America," in The Intellectual Migration edited by Donald Fleming (Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1969), p.339. 54. Ibid., p.339. 55. Peter L . Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality. A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1967), p. 72.  56. Ibid., p.73. 57. Jaques Lipchitz, M y Life in Sculpture (New York: 1972), p. 144. 58. Often even before reaching custom officials, the most celebrated emigres were deluged by reporters all wanting to get "the authentic story of a newcomer-celebrity who had just escaped the Nazis." Although many felt this experience bordered on  -92-  harassment, they complied not wishing to offend and because they knew "the importance of having good press." [See Helmut Pfanner, Exile in New York: German and Austrian Emigre Writing 1933-1945 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983), p.37.]  59. Ibid., p.53. 60. Hans Natoonek quoted in Pfanner, p.43. 61. Pfanner lists some of these agencies as including the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant A i d Society, American Catholic Committee, League of American Writers, International Relief Organization, and also private assistance given by individuals and groups who had established relief offices in New York, (p.53) 62. Maurice R . Davie, Refugees in America: Report of the Committee for the Study of Recent Immigration from Europe (Westport Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1974), p. 102. 63. Gerhart Saenger in his article the "Psychology of the Refugee," in Contemporary Jewish Record (May-June 1940), wrote of the refugee confronted by the social agencies, "ashamed of himself, he may cover up his dependance and insecurity by aggressiveness", (pp.268) 64. Pfanner, p.53. 65. Davie, p.102. 66. Walter Victor, quoted in Pfanner, p.43. 67. Martica Sawin, "Aux Etats-Unis," in L a Planete Affolee. Surrealism Dispersion et Influences 1939-1947 (Paris: 1986), p. 109. 68. Some caution must be exercised here when applying the term "exile" in that this state may be one of choice. This selection though, may often be a largely an unwanted one. Amedee Ozenfant for example was quoted as saying in "Eleven Europeans in America," James Johnson Sweeny ed. The Museum of Modern A r t Bulletin Vol.XII, Nos.4-5 (1946), "For me this country was not a place of refuge, but rather a place of election. I did not come here as a refugee; I had decided to come here and stay here before the war began." This statement is in itself, somewhat misleading. H e goes on to state that he had visited America in 1938, and the enjoyment of that stay largely influenced his "voluntary" immigration in 1939. But he also states that during this time he was told by the French Ambassador: " M . Ozenfant, it will be war in a day or two, for we are allied with Czechoslovakia." U p o n hearing this he and his wife immediately rushed to New Y o r k to book passage home to Europe to put his affairs in order, before returning a year later as an immigrant. H e stated: "Already won by what we had seen of America and disgusted by Munich and what had led up to it, we decided to remain in America and begin a new life." Thus it would seem that this decision to immigrate was not completely voluntary, but was as well influenced by the menace of war and intolerable ideological differences, (pp.7-8) 69. Fermi notes that this tendancy was particularly prevelent amongst the French. While her claim that "the French have evinced an unmistakable disclination to emigration and assimilation by other national groups" may be valid, her alternate  -93-  rationale appears to be more pertinent. The French were the last to emigrate to America and for the most part the first to return home. A s exiles, they seemed as a group to be most convinced of the temporary nature of their stay. While they frequently had ambiguous feelings about France's capitulation to Germany, they did not harbour deep feelings of resentiment or outrage towards their homelands as did the Germans and European Jews. In addition, there were renewed feelings of patriotism amongst the French exiles when D e Gaulle established his Free French provisional government in North Africa in 1943. (pp. 123-124) 70. Max Ernst, quoted in "Eleven Europeans in America." pp.17-18. 71. Ibid., p. 18. One of the benefits derived from the methodology of this thesis that seeks to explain the behavior and reception of the European's based upon the debilitation of exile, is that behavior such as Breton's will not be reduced to mere elitism. This lack of understanding appears to related to the belief that the imposing, outwardly confident and outspoken Breton could not possibly have been affected by exile. Irving Sandler wrote in an article entitled "The Surrealist Emigres in New York." in A r t Forum (May, 1968), p.27.: "The emigre thought of himself as more sophisticated and acted generally as if he were in the sticks . . . Breton's refusal to learn English was symptomatic of this attitude and it kept him at a distance from most Americans." While what Sandler says is partially true, there were, as is being explored, other reasons for this reticence. 72. Davie as well reports that discrimination against those with German accents especially after 1939, "coupled with a strong pressure against the use of German on the streets and other public places" caused further clustering. This in turn drew increased derision from Americans who already thought this group snobish, elitist and ungrateful, (pp.89-90) 73. Davie states that his interviews revealed that the exiles were indeed offended by the portrayal of their accents, appearance, and mannerisms in the popular press. H e singles out publications such as Life and Look as being the prime culprits for this stereotypification both in their feature stories and editorial comments, (p.372) 74. V i o l a Paradise, "Schools for New Citizens," Survey Graphic 9 (September, 1941), p.469. 75. Ibid., p.472. 76. Ernst quoted in "Eleven Europeans in America" p. 17. Faced with the loss of a meeting place where political ideas and views could be exchanged, the exiles converged on the few "European style" coffee shops which began to be referred to as the "Clubs of European Refugees." Another popular spot for the exiles to meet were the cafeterias at New York's universities and especially that of the Ecole Libre. Pfarmer, pp.164-165. 77. Pfarmer, p.69. 78. Davie in his interviews quickly discovered that many Americans believing the Europeans to be immigrants, were unaware that the exiles were "different from past groups in that they were indeed in large proportion made up of those of great status, socially, economically and educationally." H e notes that the term immigrant signified for most Americans someone who was socially inferior, and they treated the Europeans with condescension, (pp.394-396) Saenger wrote of the exile in America:  -94-  " . . . he is one of a great mass and falls into the catagory of "immigrant" or "refugee", words which for many Americans, have always had a slightly derogatory connotation . . . an inferior being for whom any kind of work is good enough." (p.265) 79. Ibid., p.264. 80. Ibid., p.266-7  81. Ibid.,^266. 82. Davie states that the exiles' tenacious clinging to their previous status was so prevalent in New York, that there were actually jokes actually circulating about it. The most common of these is as follows: "Two German daschunds met in America, and one of them told the other about his beautiful basket at home in Germany. The other replied, 'Thats nothing. In Europe I was a St. Bernard!" (p.384). ( A slightly altered version of this same joke appears in Paradise's article on page 472.) 83. Pfanner, p. 129. Davie states that the many refugee newspapers that arose to address the exiles needs also tried to make Americans more aware of events in Europe by printing in English the political issues of most significance, (pp. 181184) 84. Pfanner, p.92. 83. Jacques Lipchitz quoted in "Eleven Europeans in America" p.24. 86. Davie, p.325. Davie also reveals in his study that mixed feelings about ones homeland and the loss of identity in New Y o r k led artists of other nationalities such as the Poles and Russians to adopt French dress and mannerisms while in New York. France it seems, due to its long painterly tradition, offered them a well recognized alternate identity as artists, (pp.325-326) 87. Ibid., pp.325-6. While it must be said again that many of the artist emigres were condescending towards American culture, the difficulties they faced as emigres ought to be taken into consideration. Davie reprints in his text, part of an article by Robert Coates written in the New Yorker on May 5, 1945. Coates wrote: "On the whole, the position of the refugee artists in this country has been a tough one, and the complaints that have occasionally been levelled at them by American painters and others should be considered with this fact in mind. If they have been cliquey and its true that a good many of them have - it should be remembered that pulls of old friendships and associations are strong, particularly in a foreign country . . . these men did not really want to come here in the precise way they came, hurriedly and in flight, and with all the regrets and uncertainties that such a way of coming entails . . . (this is) a fair explanation of any recalcitrance in their attitudes." (p.325) 88. It cannot be stressed enough how deeply the exiles were indebted to America. Jacques Lipchitz wrote: "We came to the harbour of New York. I will never forget it. We were all on the deck. It was raining a little bit and there was the skyline of Manhattan. I can't explain what kind of feeling I had. It was like I came from death to life. I wanted to experience this feeling over and over again; so I would often take the Staten Island ferry to again approach the harbour of New Y o r k but this feeling never returned. It's something I could not forget, I can't forget, and I can't describe." Lipchitz, quoted in McCabe p.344.  -95-  Lipchitz's gratitude and positive experiences in America were shared by other exiles and this thesis does not wish to avoid the many aspects of American cultural life that the Europeans enjoyed. While these latter experiences do offer insight, they also tend at times to obscure the highly problematic concerns that surrounded the initial difficulties and reception of the exiles. 89. Once again this is not to say that criticism was nonexistent. Davie's and Pfanner's texts report many instances of verbal and written objections raised about various aspects of American life including its materialism, commercialization, superficiality, and lack of cultural development. But these amount to mere grumblings in comparison to the critiques that many of the exiles such as Breton were capable of initiating. 90. H . Suart Hughes, "Social Theory in a New Context," in The Muses Flee Hitler: Cultural Transfer and Adaptation Jarrell C . Jackman, Carla M Borden eds. (Washington D . C : Smithsonian Insitution Press 1983), p.113. 91. Hughes, p.115. Hughes also points out that the American public had little understanding of what the members of the Institute were saying about their culture. H e states: "Indeed their audience existed chiefly in their imaginations and not materialize until the 1950's."(p.ll5) The same probably would have been true had the Surrealist's launched an assault on American cultural institutions. A s Hedda Stern wrote of this period: "They (the Surrealists) were completely and totally political. A r t was useful as a means of influencing society . . . in the U . S . they became not only the rebel without a cause, but the rebel without an audience." Stern quoted in Jacqueline Weld, Peggy: The Wayward Guggenheim. (New York: E . P . Dutton, 1986), p.271. 92. Andre Breton, "Situation of Surrealism Between the Two Wars," in What is Surrealism Franklin Rosemont ed. (New York: Monad Press, 1978), p.242.  93. Ibid., p.243. 94. Ibid., p.244. Interestingly enough, Calas himself later addressed the matter of Breton's lack of a critical position while in New York and even faults him for it. In an essay entitled "The Challenge of Surrealism" in Transfigurations. A r t Critical Essays on the Modern Period edited by Donald Kuspit (Ann Arbor, Michigan: U M I Reasearch Press, 1985), he refers to the memoirs of Pierre Mabille who edited La Revolution surrealiste in 1924. H e writes "While Mabille agrees that the exploration of the unknown should not be subject to coercion, he thinks that for a given period of time such total freedom might have to be suspended for political reasons. H e is right when he remarks that artists and poets are often less free than they believe they are, for they often find themselves obliged to make comprimises in the name of art in situations pertaining to the exhibition or publication of their work." Yet Calas seems to naively feel that somehow Breton should have been exempt from the debilitation of exile. Considering what Calas wrote for the Artists in Exile show, he perhaps should have been a little less judgemental, but nevertheless he writes: "Having had the good fortune to reach America early in 1940, I had hoped that when Breton in his turn would cross the Atlantic he would consider it his responsibility to formulate a new Surrealist manifesto." When Breton did write Prolegomena to a Third Surrealist Manifesto, or not, Calas states that it was "a disappointment to his Marxist friends." (pp.83-85) This disappointment itself must be considered in light of the demoralization of the left at this time. For an in depth discussion of this moment see Serge Guilbaut, How New Y o r k Stole the Idea of  -96-  Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism. Freedom, and the Cold War (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983), pp. 1-47. 95. Rosemont also makes this observation noting that the essay appeared no where else i n any language, (p.206) 96. Andre' Breton, "Originality and Liberty," i n A r t in Australia 4 (Dec.,Jan.,Feb.,1941-1942),p.ll. While the Europeans had at their disposal publications in America such as View and V V V . there is here as well, a general absence of an in depth leftist critique by Breton or any of the other Surrealists. 97. A l l of these quotes appear on page twelve of "Originality and Liberty." 98. Andre Masson, "Life and Liberty," Art in Australia. 5 (March, April, May 1942), p . l l .  99. Ibid., p. 12. 100. Alvin Johnson, "The Refugee Scholar in America," Survey Graphic (April 1941), p.226. 101. Johnson, p.328. In spite of persuasive efforts such as Johnson's, other interest groups, foundations and politicians, many Americans remained opposed to what they regarded as an infiltration of aliens threating American jobs and its cultural traditions. Davie reports that when a recently arrived emigre artist was made chairman of the art department at New York City College, followed by the placement of others in various positions, an anti-alien protest ensued. In A r t Digest of A p r i l 15 1944, a formal protest and resolution of the American Artists Professional League was issued to the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York. It protested against "this notable discrimination and . . . this infiltration and teaching of their alien ideologies in an American college which is supported by American tax dollars . . . Especially is this discrimination hard to understand when our American artists are now experiencing the most difficult times in their history. The league insists that they should have first call." (p.328) 102. Sawin,p.l09. 103. Fermi, p. 101. 104. The unconstitutional edicts that the authors were referring to were the more than seventy bills introduced into Congress from 1939-1940 discriminating against aliens. These bills required all aliens to be fingerprinted and registered, report to governmental agencies at regular periods, and exposed them to possible imprisonment without a trial. [See Lucille B . Milner and David Dempsy, "The A l i e n Myth," Harpers (Sept 1940), p.374. 105. Ibid., p.376 106. James Thrall Soby, "Europe" Artists in Exile (New York: March 3, 1942). 107. Ibid. (The catalogue's pages were not numbered.) 108. Nicolas Calas, "America" Artists in Exile (New York: March 3,1942)  -97-  109. Ibid. 110. Ibid. 111. "Great Flight of Culture: Twelve Artists in U.S. Exile." Fortune 24 (Dec. 1941), p.103. 112. Soby. 113. Calas.  114. Ibid. 115. The false association of the Surrealists with the "School of Paris" is still one that is made in the literature referring to this period. McCabe writes in her text, "By the end of 1942 New York had been transformed into a center of world art activity. The presence of more than two dozen members of the famed School of Paris was of crucial importance to the emerging American avant-garde." Cynthia Jaffe McCabe, The Golden Door. Artist-Immigrants of America. 1876-1976 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1976), p.38. (Notice here that McCabe misleadingly refers to this group in the title of her book as "immigrants", a term that implies volitional movement.) 116. Calas.  117. Ibid. 118. Ibid. 119. Matisse, quoted in Weld, p.271. 120. Max Ernst, Max Ernst: Beyond Painting and Other Writings by the Artist and his Friends (New York: Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc., 1948), p.4. 121. Lucy R . Lippard ed. Surrealists on A r t (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1970), p.134.  122. Ibid., 123. J. H . Matthews, The Imagery of Surrealism (Syracuse University Press: Syracuse, 1977), p. 126.  124. Ibid., p. 138. 125. Ernst was living in Paris when the war broke out in 1939. Since he did not have a French passport, he was immediately rounded up as an enemy alien and interned at L'Argentiere. H e remained there for six weeks and was then taken to another French camp, Les Milles. Due to efforts of Leonora Carrington and Paul Eluard, Ernst was released on Christmas day of 1939 only to be re-interned in May by the Germans, largely due to the fact that his 1923 work "The Fair Gardener" was touring in an Nazi exhibition of degenerate art. H e finally managed to escape, and made his way on foot travelling only at night until he reached his home in Saint Martin-d'Ardeche. H e found the house deserted. Leonora Carrington, Ernst's companion, despondant over the occupation and Ernsts imprisonment, had sold it  -98-  for a bottle of brandy. She fled to Spain and subsequently ended up in an insane asylum. In the dead of night Ernst rounded up all of his paintings and once again fled on foot. Now, with no money and in ill health, denounced and hunted by the authorities, and with his French exit visa expired, Ernst arrived at the villa "Air-Bel". With the moral and financial support of Varian Fry and Peggy Guggenheim, Ernst boarded a train on May 1st 1941, for the French border station at Campfranc, still without an exit visa. U p o n his arrival there, he was asked to produce this latter document. Not having one, the French officials demanded that he open his suitcases and there discovered his rolled-up paintings. They were promptly opened and soon the whole compartment was filled with his works. The officials seemed genuinely fascinated and questioned Ernst about his images and his artistic tecniques. Ernst said of that moment: "I spoke that day about painting as I have never spoken before and in a way it would be impossible for me to speak again . . . I had the feeling of playing for my life and it was true! The officials eventually let him pass, the main inspector warning Ernst to continue with caution saying: "above all monsieur, do not make a mistake. I adore talent." Ernst proceeded quickly to Lisbon and there he wrapped in plain brown paper, Europe After the Rain, addressing it to himself in care of the Museum 01 Modern Art. Miraculously, it arrived intact. O n July 13th, 1941, on a Pan-American Clipper, Ernst in the company of Lawrence V a i l and Peggy Guggenheim left Lisbon for New York. [See Jacqueline Weld, Peggy: The Wayward Guggenheim (New York: E . P . Dutton, (1986), pp.226-231] 126. Parker Tyler, The Divine Comedy of Pavel Tchelitchew (New York: Fleet Publishing Co., 1967), p.449. 127. Ibid., pp.449-450 128. Ibid., p.450. 129. Ibid., p.450. 130. Lipchitz, p. 140.  131. Ibid., p. 169. 132. Andre Breton Surrealism and Painting (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), p.279. 133. Ibid., p.280 134. Ibid., p.280. 135. J . H . Matthews, Languages of Surrealism (Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1986), p. 185. 136. Matthews, p. 117 137. Carrouges, p.71. 138. Anna Balakian, "From Poisson soluble to Constellations: Breton's Trajectory for Surrealism." Twentieth Century Literature 21 (Feb 1975), p.50.  -99-  139. J . H . Matthews, The Imagery of Surrealism (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1977), p. 182. 140. Andre Breton, quoted in View (November 1941), p.2. 141. Andre Breton, What is Surrealism, p.68. 142. Andre Breton, Surrealism and Painting. pp284-285. 143. R . R Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1983), p. 187. 144. The presence of Breton's essay in the show was referred to in only one review. Its author, Rosamund Frost, revealed both a lack of understanding and an unwillingness to come to grips with its content. She wrote: "Some 400 words alongside it are needed to explain it, and lead all the way from the authors initials to the triumph of the Jesuits over the Jansenists via broken mirror, an automatic duck, a fragmentary cat signifying the Peace of Utrecht, and Cardinal de Retz - an inexaustable game o f associations if you have the mind for it." Rosamund Frost, "First Fruits of Exile," A r t News (March 1942),p.32. 145. Piet Mondrian, "Art Shows the Evil of Nazi and Soviet Oppressive Tendencies," printed in the catalogue Mondrian (Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie Sturrgart, 1980V p.29. 146. Piet Mondrian, "Liberation From Opression in A r t and Life," in Piet Mondrian. Plastic A r t and Pure Plastic Art 1937 and other essays. 1941-1943. Robert Motherwell ed., (New York: Wittenborn and Company, 1945), p.38. 147. Ibid., pp38-39.  148. Ibid., p40. 149. Piet Mondrian, "Toward the True Vision of Reality," in Piet Mondrian. Plastic A r t and Pure Plastic A r t 1937 and other essays. 1941-1943. Robert Motherwell ed., (New York: Wittenborn and Company, 1945), p. 15. 150. Piet Mondrian, "Plastic A r t and Pure Plastic Art," in Piet Mondrian. Plastic Art and Pure Plastic A r t 1937 and other essays. 1941-1943. Robert Motherwell ed., (New York: Wittenborn and Company, 1945) p.59. 151. Piet Mondrian, "Toward the True Vision of Reality," p. 15. 152. Piet Mondrian, "Liberation From Opression in A r t and Life," p.40.  153. Ibid., p47. 154. Ibid., p47. 155. Ibid., p47. 156. Ibid., p41. 157. Frank Elgar, Mondrian (London: Thames and Hudson, 1968), p. 178.  -100-  158. The perceived highly decorative nature of Mondrian's works made them suitable companions not only for the "modern" home, but for mass produced goods as well. Michel Seuphor reports that Mondrian was approached with, and accepted an offer from a manufacturer to help with designs for womens' purses for a monthly salery of $200. Michel Seuphor, Piet Mondrian. Life and Work (New York: Harry N . Abrams, 1979), p. 188. 159. Seuphor, p. 187. 160. Elgar, pl74. 161. Ibid., pl82. 162. Breuning's review, like most of the following reviews of the Artists in Exile show, are collected in the Pierre Matisse Files in the American Archives of A r t Ref. N o . N P M - 1 , N132 (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1980).  163. Ibid. 164. Ibid. 165. "Artists in Exile H o l d Stimulating Show," A r t Digest 16 (March 15,1942) p.9. 166. Rosimund Frost, "First Fruits of Exile," Art News (March 7 1942), p.23. 167. Pierre Matisse Files, American Archives of Art. 168. "Artists in Exile Hold Stimulating Show," p.9. 169. Frost, p.32 170. Cortissoz, in the New York Herald Tribune (Sunday, March 8, 1942). 171. Edward A l d e n Jewell, "Noted Exiles A r t on Exhibition Here," New Y o r k Times. (March 8 1942) p.8.  172. Ibid., p.8. 173. Ibid., p.8. 174. Frost, p.32.  175. Ibid., p.32. 176. "Refugee Review," Newsweek (March 9, 1942) 177. Henry McBride, Pierre Matisse Files, American Archives of Art.  178. Ibid. 179. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (New York: Seabury Press, 1972), p. 120.  -101-  One of the most blatant manifestations of this tendency to commodity culture, was the immediate attempt to appropriate European modernist art by the American business community for the purposes of promoting mass produced goods. In December of 1941, only a few months after many of the emigres arrived, Fortune magazine ran an eleven page spread entitled "The Great Flight of Culture". ( A n article from which this thesis appropriated part of its title.) It featured the works of twelve artists, eleven of whom appeared in the Artists in Exile Show, and also included full color reproductions of their work. Unlike the text which accompanied the Artists in Exile show, the article explained the various differences between the works, and even commented upon the deliberate confrontiveness found in some of them. A s was noted earlier, the article also pointed out the likelihood that these works would not be received too favourably. A s well, it speculated in an insightful way about the various cultural obstacles that the emigres would probably encounter. However, the author goes on to explain how these images and the methodologies behind them, could be used in the promotion of commodities. Mondrian's designs could be incorporated into "posters, trademarks and linoleum designs." Leger's abstractions could "present machine forms to the public in beautiful ways." The images and methodologies of Surrealism could be used to tell the public that a chemical company made a variety of unrelated objects resulting in the end of "Surrealism as a monopoly of the sophisticated . . . . " Finally, it stated: "The general U.S. public doesn't realize how much Surrealism it daily enjoys." "Great Flight of Culture: Twelve Artists in U.S. Exile," Fortune 24 (Dec. 1941) p.103. 180. "Walt Disney Goes to War," Life 13 (April 1942) pp.92-93. "Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck work for Victory," Popular Science 141 (Sept. 1942) pp.98-99. 181. N o e l , p . l 0 2 . 182.  Ibid.,p.l06.  183. Ibid., p. 106. 184. Ibid., p. 112. 185. "Inheritors of Chaos, Time Magazine (Nov. 2, 1942) p.47. 186. Henry McBride, New York Sun (Oct.23, 1942). 187. Newspaper clipping included in the Peggy Guggenheim Files American Archives of A r t Ref.No. ITV-1 Wilmington Scholarly Resources Inc. 1980. 188. Adolf Hitler quoted in the catalogue A r t of This Century edited by Peggy Guggenheim (New York: A r t A i d Corporation, 1942),p.7. 189. Peggy Guggenheim Files. American Archives of Art. 190. Peggy Guggenheim, Confessions of an Art Addict (London: Andre Deutsch, 1960), p.277. 191. Shaw's article is reproduced in the Peggy Guggenheim Files American Archives of Art.  -102-  CLOSE THE  .BRITISH,  PROPAGANDA OFFICES  Figure 1:  INVASION • V HITLER  1  ftooev F R O M THE WHITEHOUSt ^  Pttaerv  1 | **  Isolationists demonstrating in 1941 in front of the White House. Photo Keystone. (Source: Bernard Noel, Marseilles - New York: A Surrealist Liason. Marseilles: Agep Press, 1985.)  -103-  Figure 2:  Group photograph of the participating artists in the Artists in Exile show of March 1942. Photo by George Piatt Lynes, March 1942. (Source: Bernard Noel, Marseilles - New York: A Surrealist Liason. Marseilles: Agep Press, 1985.)  -104-  Figure 3:  Max Ernst, Europe After the Rain. 1940-1942. O i l on canvas, 54 cm. high x 147 cm. wide. Collection Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford Connecticut.  -105-  Figure 4:  Pavel Tchelitchew, The Green Lion. 1942. Gouache, 102 cm. high x 76 cm. wide. Collection of the artist.  -106-  Figure 5:  Jacques Lipchitz, Rape of Europa II. 1938. Bronze, 90 cm high. Collection R . Sturgis Ingersoll, Penllyn, Pennsylvania.  -107-  Figure 6:  Jacques Lipchitz, Rape of Europa. 1936. Bronze, 59 cm. long. Collection M r . Michael Zagajaski, New York.  -108-  PORTRAIT DE L ACT EUR  AB  D A M S SON ROLE M E M O R A B L E  Figure 7:  Andre Breton, Poem-Object. Portrait of the Actor A.B.. wide x 66 cm. high.  -109-  1941. 50 cm.  Figure 8:  Andre Breton, Poem-Object. 1934. Collection Timothy Baum, New York.  -110-  Figure 9:  Piet Mondrian, Composition. 1935-1942. O i l on canvas, 36 cm. wide x 51 cm. high.  •Ill-  Figure 10: Photograph of the First Papers of Surrealism show the Reid Mansion in November of 1942. Photo by John D . Schiff. (Source: Bernard Noel, Marseilles-New York: A Surrealist Liason. Marseilles: Agep Press, 1985.)  -112-  Figure 11: Photograph of part of the Surrealist R o o m at Peggy Guggenheim's show Art of This Century in November, 1942. Photograph collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York. (Source: Bernard Noel, MarseillesNew York: A Surrealist Liason. Marseilles: Agep Press, 1985.)  -113-  Mdre Breton French poet, essayist, novelist, theorist, editor, critic; principal founder and leader of the Surrealist movement. Born Tinchehray (Orne), 1896. During the last war a practising psychiatrist. Participated in Paris Dada movement, 1917-21. Co-editor of Litterature, Paris, 1919-21; sole editor 1922-24. Manifeste du Surrealisme, Poisson Soluble, 1924. Editor of La Revolution Surrealiste, 1925-30; Le Surrealisme au Service de la Revolution, 1930-33. Published Le Surrealisme et la Peinture, 1928, the most important work on Surrealist painting. Second Manifeste du Surrealisme, 1930. Left France in 1941 after having served as a doctor in the French Army. Now lives in New York.  17/3  PORTXAIT DE L A C T E U R D A N S SON  OLEMEMO  L A N D E GRACE  PORTRAIT O F T H E A C T O R A. B.  AB  ABLE  viuux cftUn.  20 x 25% inches Poem-Object 1941  J/9  Figure 12: A page from the Art of This Century catalogue upon which is displayed Andre Breton's Poem- Object. Portrait of the Actor A . B . of 1941.  -114-  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Books and Signed Articles Adler, Selig. The Isolationist Impulse: Its Twentieth Century Reaction. New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1957. . The Uncertain Giant: 1921-1941. American Foreign Policy Between the Wars. N e w Y o r k : Macmillan, 1965. Adorno, Theodor. "Scientific Experiences of a European Scholar in America." In The Intellectual Migration. Edited by Donald Fleming. Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1969. Anderson, B.C. "Democracy and economic life in the United States; there is no safety for the country if the politicians play safe." Vital Speeches 7 (1941). Arato, Andrew and E . Gebhardt, eds. The Essential Frankfurt School Reader. New York: Continuum, 1978. Armstrong, H . F . "New York Looks Abroad." 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"Censorship and Propaganda Symposium." Saturday Review of Literature 25 (March 7 1942), pp.3-14. Berner, Dr. Peter. Psychology and Environment of Refugees. Geneva: U N H C R , 1964. Bernett, Richard. Intervention and Revolution. New York: 1968. Berstein, Berton J. ed. America in War and Peace. The test of Liberalism Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History. New York: Pantheon Books, 1968.  -115-  Borrie, W . D . The Cultural Integration of Immigrants. Paris: Unesco, 1959. Boswell, D . "Transplanted Talent." Art Digest 17 (1942), p.3. Boyers, Robert. The Legacy of te German Refugee Intellectuals. New York: Harper and Row, 1972. Braeman, John, et al eds. Twentieth Century American Foreign Policy. Columbus Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1971. Breton, Andr£. "Anthology of Black Humour." In What is Surrealism. Edited by Franklin Rosemont. New York: Monad Press, 1972 . "Manifesto for a Free and Revolutionary Art." in What is Surrealism. Edited by Franklin Rosemont. 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