100 Years in Art’s History

Postcard of Marcel Duchamp's painting Nude Descending a Staircase

Armory Show postcard with reproduction of Marcel Duchamp’s painting Nude Descending a Staircase, 1913. Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family papers, and Armory Show records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

February 17, 1913 the International Exhibition of Modern Art opened at the New York 69th Regiment Armory. Now, simply referred to as The Armory Show, it is considered one of the most important exhibitions in art history. While most of the 1300 works in the show were by American artists, it was the first large-scale exhibition in the United States to show European artists. This was the first time many Americans were exposed to such a large scope of prominent European modern art. The exhibition eventually traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago (24 March–16 April) and Copley Hall, Boston (28 April–19 May).

Several institutions are celebrating the centennial anniversary of this historic show, two of which are just a quick trip from Philadelphia. The New Spirit: American Art in the Armory Show, 1913 opened February 17, 2013 at Montclaire Art Museum in New Jersey and will run until June 16, 2013. The New Spirit focuses on American artists who participated in the Armory Show, and features several female artists. The New York Historical Society will open The Armory Show at 100 October 11, 2013 with over ninety masterworks from the original 1913 exhibition. The Armory Show at 100 will be on display until February 23, 2014. Continue reading