If we are accustomed today to the waterfall of reactions on social media, blogs, television, street art, and dozens of other channels to the latest happenings in contemporary life, in 1913 the response to the Armory Show must have seemed overwhelming in an era where opinions found fewer outlets for amplification.
Lampooned by newspapers and cartoonists, the Armory Show may have since become a symbol of the once awkward marriage of European avant-gardism and American mass sensibilities, but at the time it was also a war over what art was and could be. These comics, from publications as varied as the UK’s satirical Puck magazine to New York’s various dailies, give you a sense of the tension brewing in the culture during that period.
If these comics, which can be found at the New-York Historical Society’s “Armory at 100” website aren’t enough to excite you about the museum’s major Armory show opening October 11, then I don’t know what will.
During the War of 1812, British troops intended to ransack the American capital. The First Lady took credit for saving White House valuables, but, as Jennings wrote in his memoir, this was “totally false.”