Download American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, by Robert M. Crunden PDF

By Robert M. Crunden

In American Salons, Robert Crunden offers a sweeping account of the yankee stumble upon with eu Modernism as much as the yankee access into international conflict I. Crunden starts with deft graphics of the figures who have been significant to the delivery of Modernism, together with James Whistler, the eccentric expatriate American painter who grew to become the archetypal artist in his gown and behaviour, and Henry and William James, who broke new floor within the style of the unconventional and in psychology, influencing a world viewers in a vast variety of fields. on the middle of the booklet are the yank salons--the intimate, own gatherings of artists and intellectuals the place Modernism flourished. In Chicago, Floyd Dell and Margery Currey unfold new principles to Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, and others. In London, Ezra Pound may be came across at the back of every little thing from the cigars of W. B. Yeats to the prose of Ford Madox Hueffer. In Paris, the salons of Leo and Gertrude Stein, and Michael and Sarah Stein, gave Picasso and Matisse their first safe audiences and earning; in the meantime, Gertrude Stein produced a brand new writing variety that had an incalculable effect at the new release of Ernest Hemingway. most vital of all have been the salons of recent York urban. Alfred Stieglitz pioneered new varieties of images on the well-known 291 Gallery. Mabel stay clear of introduced jointly modernist playwrights and painters, introducing them to political reformers and radicals. on the salon of Walter and Louise Arensberg, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia rubbed shoulders with Wallace Stevens, guy Ray, and William Carlos Williams. by way of 1917, no artwork in the USA remained untouched through those new associations. From the journalism of H. L. Mencken to the well-known 1913 Armory express in big apple, Crunden illuminates this pivotal period, supplying perceptive insights and evocative descriptions of the critical personalities of Modernism.

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Extra resources for American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, 1885-1917

Sample text

Whether art imitated life or life imitated art, Paris in the 1820s and after had produced a circle of literary figures who behaved in a way outsiders identified as artistic. The circle around Victor Hugo was especially important here, for its members developed eccentric clothes, exotic moustaches, and pointed beards into outward symbols of novel ideas about art, sexual relations, and the bourgeois enemy. Theophile Gautier's Histoire du romantisme (1874) later gave the world the picturesque details, but the first important contemporary expression of the attitudes involved came in his preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835): "There is nothing truly beautiful but that which can never be of any use whatsoever; everything useful is ugly, for it is the expression of James Whistler 25 some need, and man's needs are ignoble and disgusting like his own poor and infirm nature.

Many of his friends suffered similar symptoms and crises; the Jameses were unusual only in the level of talent needing outlet. Even before his mental breakdown, William wrote a friend: "Much would I give for a constructive passion of some kind," and it is hard to escape the conclusion that lack of such a passion of vocation was one root of his troubles. Other roots were fairly obvious. He chafed at the oppressive warmth of his home, only steps from Harvard Yard. His domineering if gentle father, his banal if caring mother, and his complaining if intelligent sister provided an environment only too suited to invalidism arid indecision.

I have four alternatives: Natural History, Medicine, Printing, Beggary. " Still, in January 1864, William entered the Harvard Medical School to prepare for something useful. He had some respect for Wyman and Eliot, who taught there as well, but: "My first impressions are that there is much humbug therein, and that, with the exception of surgery, in which something positive is sometimes accomplished, a doctor does more by the moral effect of his presence on the patient and family, than by anything else.

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