The flag for the Armory Show  depicts the pine-tree flag of the American Revolution proclaiming freedom  from the art of the past.

The 69th Regiment

Armory Show

critic: "It was a good show, but don't do it again"

The Armory Show challenged and changed both the Academic and public definition and attitude toward art and by doing so altered the course of history for American artists.

Site Contents

Ashcan School
Robert Henri
George Luks
Everett Shinn
John Sloan
Glackens and Prendergast
Maurice Prendergast
Ernest Lawson
Arthur B, Davies
Georgia OKeefe
Alfred Maurer
George Bellows

The Armory Show

Thesis by Linda Larson

In the early 1900s, America was a nation in transition, ripe for evolutions in politics, social systems, literature, and certainly art.  It was an era of world war, prohibition, prosperity, the Great Depression, and a time of decadence giving birth to a daring and lively generation that challenged the lifestyle and ideals of the past.  The aspiration and rebellion of American artists was not so  much concerned with radical politics or the class struggle, but expressed an intense desire to declare the awakened new sense of life in themselves and their society.  They wished to substitute a more tolerant spirit for the moral indignation, dismissal, and restraints imposed by their "old society," The Academy (Joachimides and Rosenthal 49).  The shifting artistic values occurring in America pushed aside the ordered tradition of the Academy and assailed it with a new means of expression--realism.  American Realism introduced new themes that challenged the gentility of the past with images considered unacceptable and vulgar.  It shifted and revolutionized society with a style and subject matter that reflected the nation's newfound interest in ordinary people, especially those of the working class.  However, the changes in artistic expression were just beginning.  Within a few years, the artistic traditions of several centuries were shaken to the very foundation and the new "modern" art of the twentieth century burst forth, forging the way for a new standard and a new definition of art.  (continue)

Armory Show Web Site
Linda M. Larson.  All rights reserved.: 29 Nov 2000
revised for thelarsongallery July 2004

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