Read Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 49 Nos. 3-4: The Bohemians Issue text version

From the director

Endpapers inspired by an image on a Penguin club announcement, 1919.

The Archives of American Art holds rich evidence of the impulse of artists to form both emotional and physical communities outside the constraints of mainstream society. For this issue of the Journal, we have invited several historians to use our collections to explore this theme from the late nineteenth century to the very recent past. Successful or rich artists are one familiar bohemian tribe. In his article on the American expatriate colony at the English village of Broadway in the Cotswolds, Marc Simpson provides a fascinating glimpse of a party held in 1886 to celebrate the thirtyfirst birthday of Frank Millet's wife, Lily. Among the many guests were writer Edmund Gosse and artist John Singer Sargent. Many artists and intellectuals also looked south to Mexico in their search for exotic locales and freedom from convention. In her essay, Mary Panzer details the enduring attraction of Latin American society and its impact on artists from the United States. Wendy Moffat shows in her study of E. M. Forster's friendship with New York artists Paul Cadmus, George Tooker, and Jared and Margaret French how artists tend to form cliquish groups. Mutual support, artistic communication, parties, mating, and work are part of it, but artists also seem to enjoy the feeling these groups give of cachet and exclusivity. Struggling artists need to live cheaply, as Lucy R. Lippard reminds us, and this often results in innovations and cultural enrichment that affect society more broadly, for better or for worse (as many contemporary New York artists might acknowledge). Beyond these familiar bohemian molds, this issue also examines artists and intellectuals who have staked out more radical methods of living and working. Christine Oaklander writes about the Penguin, a modernist artists' club founded in the aftermath of the 1913 Armory Show; and Suzannah Lessard looks at a group of photographs taken at several bohemian parties in late-nineteenth-century New York. Charles H. Duncan tells how artist Jack Stewart documented the work of young graffiti artists in the 1970s. Filmmaker John Waters remembers his friends, the art dealers Colin de Land and Pat Hearn; and Rhea Anastas examines how de Land consciously moved against the prevailing currents of the 1980s art world. I am grateful to each of these authors for their vivid and insightful explorations of these artists and the special communities they created.

contributors

Marc Simpson has served as associate director of the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art since 2000. From 2004 to 2009, he was also the curator of American art at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Mary Panzer writes on photography and American cultural history for Aperture and the Wall Street Journal. She is co-author of Things as They Are: Photojournalism in Context Since 1955, winner of the 2005 ICP/Infinity Award for best photography book. Wendy Moffat is a professor of English at Dickinson College. Her decade in the Forster archives yielded one book with two titles: A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) and E. M. Forster: A New Life (Bloomsbury, 2010). Lucy R. Lippard is the author of twenty books on contemporary art and cultural criticism, most recently The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society; On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art, and Place; and Down Country: The Tano of the Galisteo Basin, 1250­1782. Charles H. Duncan is the New York regional collections specialist for the Archives of American Art. Christine I. Oaklander is the arts coordinator for Lehigh Valley Health Network and an independent art consultant. From 2001 to 2006 she was the director of collections and exhibitions at the Allentown Art Museum. Rhea Anastas, an art historian, is currently Research Assistant Professor of Criticism at the Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California. John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist. His most recent book, Role Models, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2010. Suzannah Lessard is the author of Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family, a memoir. She is currently working on a book about the experience of moving from the industrial era into the age of information, as felt through our changing landscapes.

Cover: Artists' dinner, New York, ca. 1890s.

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in this issue

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caricatures for Ye Broadway lily Marc Simpson

the American love Affair with mexico, 1920­1970 Mary Panzer

A new Bloomsbury? forster, cadmus, and the frenches in Greenwich village Wendy Moffat

low life in manhattan Lucy R. Lippard

Graffiti's vasari: Jack stewart and mass transit Art Charles H. Duncan

Walt Kuhn and the Penguin: high Jinks and experimental Art Christine I. Oaklander

i. American fine Arts Rhea Anastas ii. colin de land and Pat hearn John Waters Bohemian clubs Suzannah Lessard

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CariCatures for Ye BroadwaY LiLY

marc simpson

On 10 September 1886, Henry James wrote to his brother William about a recent visit to the west of England: I have just come back from 4 days . . . at Broadway, in Worcestershire, an extraordinarily fine & picturesque old village, where Frk. Millet, an American artist, has a house in which he spends 6 months of the year (he spends the others in New York;) & which (beside his wife, who is charming, & his children) he shares with Abbey & Sargent & various guests. There are other friends, & guests in the village, mainly Americans, though Edmund Gosse & Frederick Barnard (the man who makes the remarkably grotesque illustrations--to Dickens &c) are there this year, & it is altogether a very pleasant & harmonious little artistic community, working in a manner very creditable to the good feeling of every one concerned, & "run" mainly by Millet who is a capital fellow & a prodigy of Yankee energy & practicality, combined with a very "nice" artistic feeling & a talent that is constantly bettering itself. 1

Above: Frederick Barnard (attr.), Edmund Gosse, 1886. Verso: "Pity it is that one so passing fair / Should waste his sweetness in a Cambridge chair / Here beauty strives with learning--wit with grace / And all are mirrored in one matchless face." Opposite: Frederick Barnard (attr.), Lily (Elizabeth Merrill) Millet ("Ye Broadway Lily"), 1886.

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The poet and essayist Edmund Gosse, one of James's fellow guests, years later wrote an account of the same visit, including the delightful image of James wearing a floral wreath at a birthday celebration: Early in September Henry James joined us for a short visit. . . . James was the only sedate one of us all--benign, indulgent, but grave, and not often unbending beyond a genial chuckle. We all treated him with some involuntary respect, though he asked for none. It is remembered with what affability he wore a garland of flowers at a birthday feast.2 Another of the autumn's guests, Alice Carr, wife of Joseph Comyns Carr (an art writer and co-director of the Grosvenor Gallery), also remembered and recorded the Broadway birthday feast of 1886, giving yet more details: Lily Millet's birthday was always the occasion of great festivities in the artist colony at Broadway, and that year Alma-Tadema arranged an amusing costume-party, at which he decreed that we should all wear wreathes made of fresh flowers woven after the fashion of his Roman pictures. . . . It was John Sargent who towards the end of the evening suggested the game of throwing silhouettes on a sheet, and Ned Abbey who unkindly remarked that "John had proposed a game at which he was sure of winning the prize for the greatest number of guesses, because of his diabolical gift of picking out every idiosyncracy in any face or figure." Some of us tried to outwit him. Laura Tadema turned her face almost completely away, so that her long chin was not thrown into relief. . . . Alfred Parsons kept his strong, square, yeoman's figure well hidden. . . . Mary Anderson, the most beautiful woman there, was too well known for any successful attempt at disguise.3 If we tried to assemble the cast of characters at the garland-wearing birthday party from these two memoirs and the letter by James, we would make an impressive list that would include many notables of the Anglo-American cultural scene: American artists Frank Millet (and wife, Lily), John Singer Sargent, and Edwin Austin Abbey; American writer Henry James; American actress Mary Anderson; British art-world luminaries Lawrence Alma-Tadema (and wife, Laura), Frederick Barnard, and Alfred Parsons; impresario J. Comyns Carr (and wife, Alice); writer and lecturer Edmund Gosse; and a New England lady of prim demeanor.4 In fact, however, it turns out that six of these fourteen people were not at Lily's birthday party of 1886, including James (affable or not), Alma-Tadema (the supposed instigator of the wreath wearing) and his wife, Anderson,5 Abbey, and the prim New Englander. Whether invented or conflated with other events, Gosse's and Carr's detailed accounts cannot be trusted. We know this thanks to the

John Singer Sargent (attr.), Lucia Millet, 1886.

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frequent letters that Lucia Millet, Frank's younger sister, wrote to her family in Massachusetts for the two years of her stay in England, 1885­1886. Lucia detailed not only the party on 18 September that commemorated Lily's thirty-first birthday but also gave the context and the comings-and-goings of the group that together allow us to know both the cast of characters and the fact that wreath wearing was part of only one event that fall, Lily Millet's birthday, the social centerpiece of what Millet later called a "Broadway Banner Year."6 Lucia wrote on 19 September: Yesterday was Lily's birthday and we celebrated it in a most festive manner. In the morning I began early to get Mr. Blashfield, Mr. Barnard and Mr. Sargent to make caricatures of all the people who were to be at the feast or birthday dinner in the evening. Then Mr. Carr had to be bullied into writing a couplet on the back of each. You may be amused, also amazed but this really took all my morning to keep those men from backing out and finally the last one was not finished till dusk, not because they worked all the time (and it was too short) but because they would drop it for other things. . . . Long before [7 o'clock] we had begun to arrange the flowers on the long table which was spread in the studio, and made wreaths, for we had decided every body must wear one. At first the men objected but finally they gave in and I assure you the sight was most charming and wonderful. No one looked ludicrous. Somehow it became every body. Frank wore one made of large double red dahlias, Lily's was tea roses, Mrs. Barnard's was made of sweet peas, her husband's of single dahlias. Mr. Gosse wore pink roses & Mrs. Gosse nasturtiums Mr. Blashfield's was like Frank's. Mr. Carr wore yellow marigolds Mrs. Carr the passion flower Mr. Parsons wreath was a most successful one made of dark red roses Mrs. Williams wore an ivy wreath and mine was made of single yellow dahlias. I see I have left out Mrs. Blashfield, she was most lovely in a white dress with a wreath of huge white roses. This must sound sort of crazy to you but I assure you I never saw a prettier sight in my life than the table that night.7 Thanks to the wreaths, and Lucia's intent to record them all, we know that thirteen of the company of fourteen that night sat down to dinner bedecked with flowers, and we know who they were: Frank and Lily Millet, Fred and Alice Barnard, American painter Edwin Blashfield and his wife Evangeline, Alice and Joe Comyns Carr, Edmund and Ellen ("Nellie") Gosse, Alfred Parsons, Emily Epps Williams (sister to Ellen Gosse and Laura Alma-Tadema), and Lucia herself. The fourteenth diner, Sargent, either escaped the wreath wearing or slipped from Lucia's memory, but his participation in the place card-making indicates that he was among the party. In fact, the place cards for this party are what prompt our continuing attention to what might otherwise seem just another evening of

Top: John Singer Sargent (attr.), Edwin Howland Blashfield, 1886. Above:Frederick Barnard (attr.), Ellen "Nellie" Gosse, 1886. "The party whom this represents / Would have inspired a sonnet / But what we see of Mrs Gosse / Alas! is only bonnet."

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Opposite page, clcokwise from top left: John Singer Sargent (attr.), Alice Barnard, 1886. Edwin Howland Blashfield (attr.), Frank Millet ("Nailed to it"), 1886. "Painter and glazier, Plumber at a pinch / A useful man an artist every inch" Frederick Barnard (attr.), Lily (Elizabeth Merrill) Millet ("arrived at the Age of Discretion"), 1886. Verso: "Discretion's an age at which man may arrive / For man may grow older in time / But a woman, we know, however she strive / Can never grow older--in rhyme."

Frederick Barnard (attr.), Alice Barnard, 1886. Verso: "The mild Professor [Gosse], longing to be caught, / Envies the Artist [Barnard]who would fain be free. / Thus all desire the things they didn't ought / And all are slaves while Beauty keeps the key." Above: Frederick Barnard (attr.), Emily Epps Williams or Lily (Elizabeth Merrill) Millet ("O Listen to the Nightingale"), 1886.

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fellowship and high spirits that characterized the American community in Broadway, Worcestershire.8 There are twenty-one caricatures that we can associate with the event: nineteen now in the collections of the Archives of American Art and two in a private collection.9 The captions of the illustrations accompanying this article represent a preliminary effort at identifying the sitters and attributing the cards to one of Lucia's three artists. The identity of most of the sitters seems clear, although there is apparently no card for Barnard (he did, however, put himself into the cage in his wife's picture and it might well be he with cane and pipe in the background of Blashfield's drawing of Millet).10 Similarly, identifying Emily Epps Williams as the "nightingale" is more through process of elimination than documentation, coupled with the hope that, for Barnard, she strongly resembled his impression of Lily Millet. The question of artist's hand, too, is open in a number of instances. Informal drawings, made in fun, with references to one another and to one another's work, and the temptation to draw "in persona," all combine to present a challenging exercise in connoisseurship.11 Nonetheless I have identified core groups by the three and then clustered the remaining drawings among them.12 It is not clear that the handwriting on the drawings should be a factor in the attributions. Inscriptions on the front of the cards seem to be in at least two hands, and there are at least two, not necessarily the same, hands responsible for the poems on the back, although Lucia reported that Carr was the official poet (and his place card proclaims him as such).There is, moreover, nothing to guarantee that draftsman and scribe/s of a given card were the same. I have come to imagine the scene in this fashion: the artists started by drawing caricatures of the expected guests. They worked by inspiration rather than method, so they drew some people multiple times. Carr surveyed them and either was or was not inspired to create a verse. He wrote some of his verses down in fair copy on the back of the card; someone else, perhaps as time grew short, transcribed his drafts. There is, in fact, a plethora of cards and a shortage of poems: Carr apparently managed only eight (including a single line for his wife). I presume that the ones with his verses were the "finished" products, so that Lily "reaching the age of discretion" was the place card, while "Ye Broadway Lily" and the other blank-backed versions of her were simply bundled together and saved. We learn several things by study of these cards. First, the contrasting accounts of the event that prompted them provide a caution about the reliability of memoirs as sources: that is to say, they demonstrate the advisability of weighing sources against one another. Those accounts--no matter their veracity--and the place cards themselves testify, as well, to the community shared by these men and women and to the pleasure they took in one another's company.13 It seems that the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones got it right when, on being told by Henry James of the Anglo-American colony in Broadway, he proclaimed that they had "reconstructed the Golden Age" in the Cotswold Hills.14

Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Edwin Blashfield (attr.), John Singer Sargent, 1886. Frederick Barnard (attr.), Evangeline Blashfield, 1886. Verso: "It is not hard to give the hand / To one who freely gives her art / But here you'll kindly understand / I speak of Art and not my Heart." Edwin Howland Blashfield (attr.), Alfred Parsons ("Backhander"), 1886. Edwin Howland Blashfield (attr.), Edmund Gosse, 1886. Edwin Howland Blashfield (attr.), Lily Millet, John Singer Sargent, and Alfred Parsons playing cards, 1886.

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I appreciate the invitation from Darcy Tell to undertake this essay. Jay Clarke and Fronia W. Simpson were generous with their time in discussing some of the problems involved in attributing the caricatures and identifying their subjects. 1 Henry James to William James, 10 September 1886, bMS Am1094 (2030), Henry James, Jr., Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Heather Cole greatly assisted my recent examination of the Houghton manuscript. 2 The Letters of Henry James, ed. Percy Lubbock, 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920), 1:88­89. Gosse wrote the reminiscence for Lubbock's edition of the James correspondence. His passage begins: "In the late summer of 1886 an experience, more often imagined than enjoyed, actually took place in the shape of a party of friends independently dispersed in the hotel or in lodgings through the Worcestershire village of Broadway, but with the home of Frank Millet, the American painter, as their centre. Edwin Abbey, John S. Sargent, Alfred Parsons, Fred Barnard and I, and others, lived through five bright weeks of perfect weather in boisterous intimacy." 3 Alice Vansittart Strettel Carr, Mrs. J. Comyns Carr's Reminiscences, ed. Eve Adam (London: Hutchinson and Co., 1926), 175­177. 4 Carr had focused on the unnamed New Englander for an anecdote about Joseph Carr's cleverness: "Amongst the guests was a very precise New England lady, whose particular raison d'être was that she was the mother of a very beautiful daughter. "Joe's wreath was composed of enormous red dahlias, and on hearing that he was to escort the New England guest in to dinner he laid a bet with Sargent that before the feast was over he would exchange wreaths with the lady. . . ." Carr, Mrs. J. Comyns Carr's Reminiscences, 175­177. 5 The group had, in fact, celebrated Anderson's birthday six weeks earlier in Malvern, but the favor was not reciprocated.

6 Edwin Blashfield interview with DeWitt McC. Lockwood, AAA, New-York Historical Society Papers, roll 502, frame 187. 7 Lucia to her family, 19 September 1886, Francis Davis Millet and Millet Family Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. The letter continued with a list of gifts and then more news of departures: "Lily had a great many presents and nice ones too. Frank gave her a silver spoon of very old style. Alfred Parsons a gold bracelet with a diamond set in it. Mr. Abbey some velveteen curtains for her living room. Mr. Sargent some lovely plaster casts Mrs. Williams a little silver box and some quaint Japanese cheese knives, the Gosses gave her a double branched brass candlestick. The Carrs some lovely Algerian embroidered finger bowl doylies, and Cousin Belle sent a lovely round brass tray which she had had brought to her from Algiers. I forgot quite Anna Tadema's [one of Alma-Tadema's two daughters, who had been staying in Broadway], which was a most beautiful thing, an old ring shaped like this [drawing] half like a heart, surrounded with red stones, I should say rubies and in the middle a portrait of herself her first portrait, I mean the first one she had ever painted and her own which seems to me must have been very difficult on so small a surface. Our colony daily grows smaller. The Blashfields are leaving tomorrow. The Lorings came today and will take their children away for good this week. The Barnards and Gosses only stay through September." 8 The community and its work were the subjects of my dissertation, "Reconstructing the Golden Age: American Artists in Broadway, Worcestershire, 1885 to 1889" (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1993). 9 Another caricature in the Archives collection, which shows Lily Millet, Sargent, and Parsons playing cards (page 10), does not seem to be of the group, although it is in spirit related to it.

10 It would be temping to put him among the mustachioed tennis players, except that he was suffering from a particularly painful broken leg that summer, and it doesn't seem likely that either Sargent or Blashfield would treat the condition so cavalierly as to pretend it did not exist. Barnard's portrayal of his wife, Alice, is by far the most detailed of the place cards. If he is indeed its author, and it precedes the poem, then it would seem the community was not wholly without tensions at multiple levels. 11 I am grateful to Elaine Kilmurray both for this phrase and for counsel, offered jointly with Richard Ormond, on aspects of particular caricatures (email messages to author, 24 September and 2 October 2010). 12 For Sargent, unifying characteristics include decisive penwork, creative use of the card format, and, in one case, a link to an oil portrait of one of the sitters (Mrs. Barnard, page 8). The cards I ascribe to Barnard, in spite of their varied looks, share fluent penwork lain over, for the most part, significant preliminary pencil lines. The drawing of Lily Millet follows in pose a portrait that Sargent was at work on, yet her characterization is so close to that of the "age of discretion" card (page 8), which seems like Barnard, that I give them both to the Englishman. The works I attribute to Blashfield are united principally by an earnest merging of the portraitist's ambition with the caricaturist's, the theme of tennis in all but one, the playful stick figures in several backgrounds, and their non-card support. The drawing of Carr shares Blashfield's headto-body proportion, lack of significant underdrawing, and similar support; I give it to Barnard, however, for the feel of the line that seems to have more to do with his pen work, and the drawing's unified humor. 13 The fact that they made a place card for Abbey (right), who was apparently unable to be there, testifies to his central position in the social circle. 14 Reported by Henry James in a letter to Lily Millet, 1 October 1886, Millet Family Papers, private collection.

Opposite: Frederick Barnard (attr.), Joseph Comyns Carr ("Ye Poet"), 1886. Above: Edwin Howland Blashfield (attr.), Edwin Austin Abbey ("18 Sept. There will be one vacant chair"), 1886.

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m a rY pa n Z e r

THE A MER ICA N LOV E A FFA IR W ITH MEx ICO, 1920 ­1970

American artists' fascination with Mexico belongs to a much-studied current within American cultural history. In the years following World War I, historians of American art, literature, and culture, anthropologists, archaeologists, artists, writers, and popular intellectuals all sought to identify and nurture a distinctive modern New World­civilization independent of both an exhausted Europe and a philistine commercial tradition at home. Advocates of this new culture included Lewis Mumford, Gilbert Seldes, Constance Rourke, Harold E. Stearns (whose thirty-author anthology gave the movement a canon), and Van Wyck Brooks.1 This widespread embrace of home-grown American culture is best known today as a historical movement devoted to recovering and re-evaluating the past, but throughout the 1920s, the fashion for a new modern America could be felt everywhere, often blended with the idea of a great, free Bohemia. Americans who went to Mexico sought freedom from convention of all kinds. They found it a practical retreat, cheap to live in, and easy to get to, especially from the West Coast. Painters, writers, architects, journalists, designers, collectors, photographers, curators, and bon vivants swelled the expatriate community. Thanks to the volatile, and utopian, revolutionary government which took control in the 1920s and remained in place for the next two decades, Mexico also attracted a large group of political leftists.2 It is most accurate to describe Mexico's influence on these American visitors in terms of an idea, similar to the idea of Bohemia

Opposite, top: Cover of René d'Harnoncourt's Domingos Mexicanos, late 1920s. Opposite, bottom: Watercolor sketch of Mexico, n.d.

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Below: Howard Cook, Fiesta, Taxco, 1932. Opposite top: Mexico, n.d. Opposite bottom: Taxco, Mexico, after a tempera painting by Efren Villalobos, 1932.

itself, rather than as a nation or place, and in his memoir Exile's Return, Malcolm Cowley united the two. He observed that by the early 1920s, the bohemian values of Greenwich Village, where people chose to "live without moral scruples or modern conveniences, live in the pure moment, live gaily on gin and love" had spread beyond New York to "islands" in cities across America "and there were island countries, like Mexico, where Americans could feel that they had escaped from everything that oppressed them in a business civilization." Cowley also observed that bohemian Americans embraced a distinctive, if paradoxical aesthetic: a devotion to the most modern art and a keen interest in "the primitive," as found in archaeological excavations, ancient sculpture and artifacts, folk art, and craft, and commitment to an American or New World culture independent of European tradition. In Mexico, the two combined.3 Van Wyck Brooks's good friend, the muralist George Biddle, was an early and enthusiastic advocate for the rich art and culture of Mexico. "I've always had a love affair with Mexico," he told Archives of American Art interviewer Harlan B. Phillips.4 But Biddle was also a perceptive critic. Just as modern people sought out "some new design, some new expression in the [nineteen] twenties as yet unrecognized by the critics, art magazines, dealers, collectors," they turned to the past to find a history or "roots, something `identifiably American' as

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distinguished from something which was bruited about the land as, let's say, a consequence of the Armory Show." Like Cowley, he believed this quest to be "an incongruity."5 Biddle influenced many others, including artists, historians, and public intellectuals such as Stuart Chase, who traveled to Mexico in 1930 on Biddle's advice and stayed months "because so many things excited me--volcanoes, the raw violence of the scenery, pyramids with plumed serpents marching across their bases, great crumbling cathedrals, native handicrafts, the frescoes of Rivera and Orozco, gold mines at the end of burro trails; and above all the way of life in the free villages . . . functioning much as it did in the middles ages."6 Chase's tone, heated and sensuous, found its way into countless letters and memoirs for decades to come. In 1940, Stanton Catlin (known as Tod), went to Mexico to work on the Museum of Modern Art's upcoming survey exhibition on the history of Mexican art, and found himself "in the midst of . . . the culture of post-revolutionary Mexico, the art of the mural movement, the growing general interest in folk art, the colorful personalities of Frida Kahlo, [Nickolas Muray, and Miguel Covarrubias], and the whole welter of people . . . coming down from the United States." Like Biddle, Catlin described the relationship between the American art colony and Mexico as an amorous one, but with a political slant,

"[It] was . . . indeed, I feel, a love affair [inspired by] the post-revolutionary development of the arts in that country."7 The infatuation progressed in phases. Cultural pioneers and adventurous expats went south in the 1920s, including Biddle, Frances Toor, Anita Brenner, and (thanks in part to the influence of Mabel Dodge Luhan) D. H. Lawrence.8 In the 1930s, a large group of writers arrived as well as politically minded artists who went to study the mural movement in Diego Rivera's studio and carried their lessons back to the WPA. In the 1940s, Mexico became a magnet for European refugee artists associated with the Surrealist movement, and after World War II, American artists including many African Americans used the GI Bill to finance their studies in Mexican schools. In San Miguel de Allende, along with Taxco, one of the most famous expat destinations, the local art school drew artists interested in traditional crafts, such as weaving, batik, and jewelry making.

Top: René d'Harnoncourt, n.d. Bottom: Sketch of a man shaping a pot, n.d.

American-to-be René d'Harnoncourt probably derived the most personal benefit from his connection to Mexico. D'Harnoncourt arrived in Mexico City around 1925 as an impoverished aristocrat intending to pursue a career in engineering and ended up working for antique dealer Frederick Davis, collecting and selling folk art to a very well-connected clientele, notably the American Ambassador Dwight Morrow and his wife, Elizabeth. In 1929 the Carnegie Corporation hired d'Harnoncourt to create a touring exhibition of Mexican art, which opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. D'Harnoncourt moved permanently to the United States in 1933; headed a New Deal agency for the revival of American Indian Crafts in mid-1930s; assembled "Indian Art of the United States," a show of American Indian Craft for the Museum of Modern Art in 1941; joined MoMA's staff in 1944; and became director in 1949. D'Harnoncourt's papers contain largely official correspondence and clippings that offer only brief glimpses of his energy and charm, but they nonetheless document the complexity of the AmericanMexican links at the time. In one tantalizing letter, Frederick Keppel, president of the Carnegie Corporation, praised "the most satisfactory official relations which you have established with the Mexican government."9 Years later, Ben Shahn, who worked with Rivera on the ill-fated murals at Rockefeller Center, called the cultivation of Mexican arts through d'Harnoncourt, the Carnegie Corporation, and others, simply "soft-soaping, you know, of the Mexican Government. . . . I'll tell you why they did it. This was the time when Mexico was going to expropriate American oil. . . . You know the Metropolitan Museum put on the first exhibition of Mexican art in 1931. René d'Harnoncourt set that up. Then they had an Orozco, a big panel at the Modern Museum. . . . It didn't help. [The Mexican government] did expropriate the oil."10

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Mexican Folkways magazine, 1928

But few artists had Shahn's insight, nor, in their ardent embrace of Mexico, did they probe or question. In the summer of 1934, Viola Patterson, with her husband Ambrose, went to Mexico, because "everyone was excited about Mexican art.... It was a very alive thing."11 In 1939, William Halsey, then a student at the Boston Museum School, had won a scholarship to study in France, but the onset of World War II made travel to Europe impossible, so he and his wife, Corrie McCallum, went to Mexico instead. According to Halsey, Mexico changed them dramatically; instead of turning automatically to European models, they looked to Mexico and "preColumbian civilization really had a greater say on what we did after that." Halsey and McCallum recalled an expatriate world as full of alcohol and threadbare glamour, "We went to a party [with] quite a collection of people--some Americans, some Mexicans, some German . . . Wanda, Hunt Diederich's wife . . . had on this deep red robe, and one of these nice American ladies whispered to us, `Isn't that a bathrobe?' I said, `Yes,' which it was, because she didn't have any clothes. But she looked very striking. . . . [T]hat was our first travel, and . . . [w]e thought we were going to keep on living in strange, exotic places." Halsey and McCallum, in their own words, "very

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young and insecure and inexperienced," were easily awed by their neighbor Rivera, "a great, famous artist [and] also sort of scary."12 Rivera's influence among his students and admirers, many of whom were committed leftists or communists is, of course, the best known part of this story. Many collections and interviews in the Archives hold information on Rivera and Kahlo, including the papers of Emmy Lou Packard, Hale Woodruff, Florence Arquin, George Biddle, Maxine Albro, Maltby Sykes, Tod Catlin, Muray, and collector Chester Dale. These papers contain captivating, evocative photographs. Especially notable are Florence Arquin's Kodachrome slides of Kahlo and Rivera, and Muray's images of Covarrubias (his former New York roommate) and Kahlo, who was Muray's lover in the 1930s. Marion Greenwood, later a muralist for the WPA, provides a complex picture of the life of an American artist in the midst of this sociable, serious, hard working, and frankly political circle (which included her sister, Grace Greenwood, Pablo O'Higgins, and Isamu Noguchi). "[I]t was wonderful to be working with artists and with all this wonderful space and [to have] the chance to work at these problems with one another. We'd have meetings every couple of weeks about what we were going to paint and how we would work it out. . . . We were, of course . . . all very, very socially conscious. It [suffering] was all over the world at that time, and we were terribly sincere and very eager to make it very clear, if we had anybody suffering in our murals, why they were suffering." She was also aware of the limitations that accompanied this ideological use of art, which "imposed a kind of stiff formula thinking in, let's face it, this group of what you call Stalinists at that time."13 Just as leftist politics prevailed, so did alcohol flow freely and sexual adventures alarm (or interest) no one. Catlin reported that, as newly arrived worker for MoMA, he was shocked to discover "the almost universal homosexuality of the . . . curatorial staff" though he developed "great respect and admiration" for his colleagues. Catlin recalled that "the homosexual thing became really acute after I got to Mexico." He assisted the brilliant John McAndrew, curator of architecture, and also got advice from Edgar Kaufmann, curator

Above: Marion Greenwood and Diego Rivera, 1936. Opposite: Frida Kahlo's signature kiss on a letter to Nickolas Muray, 26 February 1939.

" W E W ER E T ER R I BLY SI NCER E A N D V ERY E AGER TO M A K E I T V ERY CL E A R, I F W E H A D A N Y BODY SU F F ER I NG I N OU R M U R A LS, W H Y T H EY W ER E SU F F ER I NG."

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of design, both gay. And "the group [around] McAndrew was almost one hundred percent homosexual [as was the] whole intellectual life of Mexico among the aggressive modernists--[but] not the social revolutionary types like Rivera or Orozco."14 Even more consequentially, American artists who were not white felt free from America's prevailing racism. Noguchi found working opportunities in Mexico that had not been possible at home. It was "marvelous. . . . [They] were open to art, open to artists . . . there was not all this Mexico for the Mexicans."15 In 1950, John Wilson and his new wife Julie used a Whitney Foundation grant to go to Mexico City. [I]t was like going into another world. I mean the whole business of this race thing in America evaporated. Obviously there were subtle innuendoes of racism even in Mexico . . . but nevertheless . . . we became very close friends . . . there was this whole colorful sort of interesting sort of life style that we got into. We stayed for about six years or five.16 Once in Mexico, Wilson met up with a heterogeneous circle, including "Betty" Catlett and her husband Pancho Mora, Pablo O'Higgins, David Siquieros, and members of the Taller de Gráfica Popular. "And everybody I knew, knew Diego . . . they all knew each other. It was a kind of very gregarious kind of thing. It wasn't hard to know any of these people."17 Wilson, who went from Léger's studio to work with Orozco in Mexico, summarized the influence six years in Mexico had on his work. The evolution was that I simply tried to tie Léger's style, manner [and] approach . . . with . . . new ways to make more effective statements, I tried to integrate it with my social consciousness. . . . And especially this business of--being much more specific--this business of finding a way to make . . . a meaningful visual statement about the reality of life for blacks in the United States. Now I looked at everything though this prism, through this perspective. That is, I may have gone to Europe and painted Europeans and I went to Mexico and painted Mexicans, but I was painting it from the point of view of . . . I mean I didn't just paint Mexican landscape. I didn't paint, in quotes, "the colorful Mexican peon with his big hats," you know. I identified with the kind of reality that Orozco found, let's say, but I was identifying with it through my own experience in the United States as a black person.18 In the pretty town of San Miguel de Allende, the Escuela de Belles Artes attracted another devoted American art colony. Katharine Kuh taught there from 1938 to 1940, and Gela Forster (wife of Alexander Archipenko) was on the faculty in the 1940s. Because the school qualified for GI Bill tuition, many artists went there after the war,

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" W E COU L D BE OU T DOOR S PA I N T I NG T H E SE A A N D T H E MOU N TA I NS, W H EN E A ST ER N A RT I STS H A D TO GET T H EI R SK ETCH ES I N T H E COL D A N D G O TO T H EI R ST U DIOS TO DO T H EI R WOR K ."

drawn mostly by the opportunity to live cheaply and work without distraction. Beyond the real freedom from financial obligation and social strictures, Mexico also offered these artists a sense that their work had value. Marion Greenwood thought that the Mexican peasants "seemed to understand so much more about painting than the average [American] white-collar worker or slum dweller." While painting a mural in a New Jersey housing project, people would "come up to me and say, `Lady, why aren't they all smiling?' And I'd say, `Well, you've only seen toothpaste and magazine advertisements. You've never even seen real painting.' Whereas in Mexico, you just wouldn't get that kind of a question. They were used to art around them all the time, and so it wasn't in any sense" simply entertainment.19 Wilson attributed the respect for art and artists to national pride. Mexico and Mexican culture, when measured against "the Western world . . . was a secondrate country. So that any person who made . . . any kind of cultural achievement that gave recognition in a kind of international way to Mexico, was absolutely honored in Mexico. . . . Diego Rivera and Siquieros . . . the people in the street knew about them because . . . you couldn't avoid their art . . . there was a lot of recognition in all kinds of levels. . . . They were dynamic cultural heroes."20 The influence of Mexico in sculptor Ruth Asawa's career could be called accidental: she learned to weave and knit with wire while visiting Anni and Josef Albers, who happened to be spending their sabbatical from Black Mountain in Mexico. The Albers also belonged to a group of artists which revolved around Wolfgang Paalen and included Miguel Covarrubias, Gordon Onslow Ford, and Jacqueline Johnson. In the late 1940s Luchita Hurtado left her first husband to live with Paalen, and she describes the scene in a long, gossipy interview; this anecdote about Paalen as a collector of folk art and Pre-Columbian artifacts shows another side of Mexico's artistic allure for American artists. "We would go . . . to a town, and I would say, `I have a feeling there's something here. There is something here.' We'd go first to the jeweler and then to the doctor. There are certain

Katharine Kuh (seated, left) and Gela Forster (seated, right) at a cantina in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 1939.

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Maltby Sykes, sketch of a jester in Diego Rivera's mural at the Hotel Reforma, ca. 1936.

people who might have collections, you see, in a small town. . . . Most places start off by saying, `Oh no. That's not for sale,' etc. Paalen had a way of getting these things."21 In 1960, fiber artist Sheila Hicks married Henrik Tati Schlubach, and settled down with him in Taxco. Marriage, and a baby, brought a welcome end to art student life which included Yale Art School with Josef and Anni Albers, extensive travel through South America, and a brief trip to Paris; her intellectual and artistic work was equally peripatetic, as she moved from architecture to painting and fiber arts. Once in Taxco, Hicks began to concentrate on textiles, partly in response to the craftsmen she met, and also thanks to the free atmosphere. She made her own looms by turning tables upside down, "We were improvising and inventing, no one felt intimidated -- we were all learning as we went along. . . . My daughter had constant attention, too, because our little community was sitting around tying knots, spinning, knitting, and weaving. Well, everyone was happy--almost." Finally her husband protested. "He said, `Enough with these potholders . . . [this is] absorbing a lot of your energy and time and maybe you should get back to painting.'" His comments led her to fly to New York, to meet with Greta Daniel, curator in charge of textiles at the Museum of Modern Art, who bought Hicks's work for the collection.22 From the twenty-first-century viewpoint, it's possible to identify Mexico as a place where artists could work outside the prevailing fashions--especially useful for those who worked in a representational style, or sought independence from the New York art world. More than his colleagues such as Millard Sheets or Tolles Chamberlain, California artist Milford Zornes credited the distinct character of postwar West Coast art to the proximity to Mexico: We were out here in California, somewhat isolated from the East. . . . I used to argue the influence of Mexico a little more than others . . . since we didn't travel as much as we do now and . . . traveling in Mexico was our travel adventure, in most cases, as far as foreign travel was concerned. And then the Mexican muralists with their vitality, strong color, bold patterns. I think this all conspired to make us. And then the fact that we could be outdoors painting the sea and the mountains . . . when eastern artists had to get their sketches in the cold and go to their studios to do their work, I think there's quite a difference there.23 Evidence suggests that our intense connection to Mexico continues and merits more investigation.

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1 Lewis Mumford, Sticks and Stones: A Study of American Architecture and Civilization (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1924); Gilbert Seldes, The Seven Lively Arts (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1924); Constance Rourke, Trumpets of Jubilee: Henry Ward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lyman Beecher, Horace Greeley, P. T. Barnum (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1927); Harold E. Stearns, ed., Civilization in the United States: An Inquiry by Thirty Americans (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1922); and Van Wyck Brooks, "On Creating a Usable Past," The Dial 64 (11 April 1918), 337­341. 2 Secondary literature on American artists in Mexico is small but growing. Helen Delpar chronicled the American fascination with Mexico across many disciplines in The Enormous Vogue of Things Mexican: Cultural Relations between the United States and Mexico, 1920­1935 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1992). See the excellent essays in Susan Danly, ed. Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts (Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 2002); and James Oles, South of the Border: Mexico in the American Imagination, 1914­1947 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993). Martica Sawin, in Surrealism in Exile and the Beginning of the New York School (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995), devotes a long chapter to the "Mexican Connection" and the birth of the New York School. Most recently, in a much-admired survey textbook, Framing America: A Social History of American Art (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2008), Frances K. Pohl devotes several chapters to the Americans who went to Mexico and the impact of their collective experience on American art, particularly in the West and Southwest. For a consideration of artists as part of a larger community, see Rebecca Mina Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

3 Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s, rev. ed. (New York: Viking Press, 1951), 235, 236. 4 George Biddle, interview conducted by Harlan B. Phillips, 1963, 26. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (hereafter cited as AAA). 5 Ibid.

14 Catlin interview. 15 Isamu Noguchi, interview conducted by Paul Cummings, 7 November 1973, AAA, http:// www.aaa.si.edu/collections/ oralhistories/transcripts/ noguch73.htm. 16 John Woodrow Wilson, interview conducted by Robert F. Brown over several sessions from 11 March 1993 to 16 August 1994, transcript, part 3, 309 (hereafter cited as Wilson interview), AAA. 17 Ibid., 320. 18 Ibid., 342. 19 Greenwood interview. 20 Wilson interview, 341­342. 21 Luchita Hurtado, oral interview conducted by Amy Winter 1 May 1994 and Paul Karlstrom 3 April 1995. AAA, http://www.aaa.si.edu/ collections/oralhistories/ transcripts/hurtad94.htm. 22 Sheila Hicks, interview conducted by Monique LéviStrauss, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, 3, 10 February and 11 March 2004, AAA, http://www.aaa.si.edu/ collections/oralhistories/ oralhistory/hicks04feb.htm. 23 Milford Zornes, interview conducted by Susan Anderson, 18 July 1999, AAA, http:// www.aaa.si.edu/collections/ oralhistories/transcripts/ zornes99.htm.

6 Stuart Chase, Mexico: A Study of Two Americas (New York: Literary Guild, 1931), v. 7 "Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art"; Stanton Loomis Catlin, interview conducted by Francis V. O'Connor, 17 July 1989, AAA, http://www.aaa.si.edu/ collections/oralhistories/ transcripts/catlin89.htm (hereafter cited as Catlin interview). 8 Many literary figures went to Mexico, including Hart Crane, Katherine Anne Porter, Waldo Frank, Langston Hughes, John Dos Passos, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, and Malcolm Lowry. See Clive Fisher, Hart Crane: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 447. 9 Frederick Keppel to René d'Harnoncourt, 3 February 1930, microfilm reel 3830, frame 543, René d'Harnoncourt Papers, AAA. 10 Ben Shahn, interview conducted by Forrest Selvig, 27 September 1968, AAA. 11 Viola Patterson, oral history interview conducted by Martha Kingsbury, 22 and 29 October 1982, AAA, http:// www.aaa.si.edu/collections/ oralhistories/transcripts/ patter82.htm. 12 William Halsey and Corrie McCallum, oral history interview conducted by Liza Kirwin, 27 October 1986, AAA, http://www.aaa.si.edu/ collections/oralhistories/ transcripts/halsey86.htm. 13 Marion Greenwood, interview conducted by Dorothy Seckler, 31 January 1964 (hereafter cited as Greenwood interview, AAA, http://www.aaa.si.edu/ collections/oralhistories/ transcripts/greenw64.htm (hereafter cited as Greenwood interview).

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A New Bloomsbury? Forster, Cadmus and the Frenches in Greenwich Village

W e n dY m o F Fat

E. M. Forster surprised two young painters at work in their Greenwich Village studio one April morning in 1947, bounding up four flights of the dilapidated brownstone like a man much younger than his sixty-eight years. The landing opened into a railroad apartment whose outer rooms were fashioned into workspace. Paul Cadmus's orderly studio faced north, with a view of scraggly trees and the brick face of a tenement. Jared French's room had "a medieval alchemist's look of disorder: large anatomy books, an Houdon écorché with muscles painted on, bottles of powdered pigments, dirty work clothes" piled hugger-mugger.1 The scent of rotten eggs hung in the air. Happily for him, Forster's hosts had no time to tidy their cluttered workspace or to "make suitable arrangements for entertaining the Great Writer."2 The three men settled down amiably. In a sea of dust Forster perched on a daybed that threatened to collapse. The British novelist and the American artists thirty years his junior spread out an impromptu picnic under the skylight of the central room, talking and drinking the afternoon away. Though they had been corresponding for a decade, it was their first meeting. It was also Forster's first visit to New York. Forster immediately felt at home in their company. In his diary, he noted approvingly that "the flat is Bloomsbury and unsanitary."3 This block of row houses past their prime reminded him of the shabby London neighborhood where his friends repaired after they

Right: E. M. Forster, ca. 1949. Opposite: Paul Cadmus (in foreground), Jared French, and George Tooker, 1948. Photograph by George Platt Lynes.

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Previous: Paul Cadmus, What I Believe, 1947­1948. Opposite: Paul Cadmus, To E. M. Forster, 1947. Both images: Art © Jon F. Anderson, estate of Paul Cadmus/licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.

left Cambridge University in the first decade of the century. These writers, visual artists, and activists lived communally, their daily existence full of gossip and ephemera, honest talk and friendly sex. For Forster, Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Lytton Strachey, Bloomsbury was an ethos as well as a place. Forster's 1938 essay "What I Believe" began provocatively: "I do not believe in Belief."4 He and his friends eschewed all external measurements of the good and the true, the whole Victorian bourgeois drooling over money and God and things, and put their faith squarely in friendship. While being true to themselves and their art, they invented British modernism. Forster's writing in the dark decade before the Second World War made it possible for Cadmus to believe that something human and good could still prevail in the belligerent and broken world. He hearkened to the old man's credo, not in an aristocracy of power, based on rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate, and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human condition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos.5

"`What i Believe' is so much what i believe too that i always read it to potential friends."

In the cauldron of the rise of fascism and the coming of war, Forster had clung to his belief in personal relationships. This was not the Edwardian voice of A Room with a View, but the sinewy, rueful "reflections of an individualist and a liberal who has found liberalism crumbling beneath him and at first felt ashamed."6 The idea that he might be part of a "queer race" was particularly meaningful to Cadmus, who had been openly homosexual all his life. He had learned of Forster's homosexuality from the gay expatriates W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood. Through an affinity that was a kind of "secret understanding," in 1943 Cadmus wrote Forster a frank letter of admiration, confessing the "admiration and devotion I feel towards your works--and through, them, towards you. `What I Believe' is so much what I believe too that I always read it to potential friends. I do it with so much conviction and emotion that I and they forget that it is not I speaking."7 Cadmus's warmth and sensitivity struck a chord in Forster, who was delighted to receive a photograph of Paul's postcard-sized portrait of Jared and Margaret French on the dunes at Fire Island. The tempera painting was a personal homage. The woman, fully clothed, lies on a beach blanket, reading a book with the title "To E. M. Forster," while the naked man curls beside her, adoze in the hot sun. Cadmus's affection for both his lover and his lover's wife imbues the moment with sweet serenity. Jared's marriage in 1927 to Margaret Hoening, herself a fine painter, might have cast a lesser soul than Cadmus into desolation. After all, Paul and Jared had been friends and lovers for a decade,

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since they studied at the Art Students League. They were an odd pair: Paul lanky, angular, with an aquiline nose and a slight overbite that made him look to Forster like "a sun-burn rodent"; "Jerry" stocky, intense, with a smoldering sexual energy.8 But Margaret and Paul both acquiesced to Jerry's needs--and Jerry needed them both. Soon the trio of friends established a remarkable collaboration as artists, eschewing singular authorship of their photographs by simply signing the work with an alloy of their names: PAJAMA. Into this strange equilibrium came a fourth artist, around the time Forster came to the St. Luke's studio--a young wideeyed ex-Marine of extraordinary vision, George Tooker. The trio settled into two pairs, as Cadmus and Tooker became lovers. Over "delicious prosciutto smoked salmon, wine," Paul and Jerry pressed Forster to make the studio his home during his New York visit that spring; they also invited him to Provincetown, where they would be painting, photographing, and lounging at a huge grey-shingled house on the beach.9 He accepted, observing the black men playing baseball in the park opposite Jerry's studio. In June he took the train to the Cape, spending three idyllic days with his new coterie. He "felt to belong at Provincetown" being sketched by Jerry, photographed by Margaret, playing duets on the piano with Paul. "I have had so much kindness and received it so willingly."10 Like Forster himself, it was difficult to tell whether these four artists were old-fashioned or prophetic. They were impossible to label, but it was clear they did not care to work à la mode. Cadmus was a superb draftsman, schooled in the European tradition, whose male nudes were (in his own words) "representational, delicate, sensual."11 He and French had taken up and renewed the ancient, abandoned medium of egg tempera "passing the pliant yolk back and forth between his palms, pricking the membrane, and blending pigments, layering the milky unforgiving mixture as the medieval painters had done, slowly and carefully until a detailed painting appeared."12 All four were figurative painters, to various levels of abstraction: Cadmus tended toward busy, corporeal, ribald scenes; Jared French toward a cerebral restraint verging on archetype; Margaret French's human figures were suspended in surreal serenity; while Tooker placed wide-eyed luminous innocents in uncanny urban landscapes. Their friend George Platt Lynes aligned the men in a photograph (see page 27) at the St. Luke's studio in the summer of 1948, Cadmus, then Tooker, then French at their easels, receding into the distance. The triple portrait was an artifice, for Tooker

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E. M. Forster, George Tooker, and Paul Cadmus, ca. 1949.

never shared the studio. But as an allegory of sexual friendship it was symbolically true. Cadmus recognized that he was neither quite Bloomsbury, nor quite of this world. Describing himself to Forster, he wrote: "I don't look like your Bohemian with a louse in his beard--in fact I dress almost elegantly with a tendency towards chi-chi in neckties-- but I live almost as he might."13 Trying to articulate both the complexity of his personal relationships with Tooker and the Frenches, and his deep belief in the promise of Forster's humane vision, Cadmus interrupted work on a grotesque series depicting The Seven Deadly Sins commissioned by his brotherin-law Lincoln Kirstein to begin a utopian painting exploring themes of tolerance and sexual freedom. He named it "What I Believe," in honor of the essay that brought him treasured friendship with Forster.14 The figure of a whimsical, naked Forster presides over this allegory of desire--a fact that charmed and took Forster aback in equal measure. Garlanded with a ribbon reading "love, the beloved Republic," the great gay man of letters invites lovers of all configurations into his world with "his long thin hands palms up in a characteristic gesture both eloquent and awkward, between a shrug and a beatification."15 And there are other symbolic reworkings of the relationships Cadmus held most dear: Jerry embracing him, while Margaret, serene, hovering over them both, holds her hands outstretched a moment away from a caress; a second self-portrait, alone, reading quizzically from a book entitled "relationships." Other familiar faces and bodies emerge, often in duplicate, alive in the joyous company of wives, lovers, even pets. Flesh, flesh, flesh. To the right of this polymorphous display of desire is a sharply dystopian antithesis: the figure of death, his faced covered, emerging from a half-dug grave. Beyond him, grotesque crowds of corpulent hedonists drink, carouse, and make war. In the bright blue sky of the background, twin symbols of Forster's harmonious vision reveal themselves: the lighthouse Pharos at Alexandria, casting its enlightening beam; and a cloud in the shape of a question mark, the enigmatic invitation to true love that George Emerson poses to his beloved Lucy in A Room with a View. The meaning of life, Cadmus argues, is love; and he learned most fully how to love from Forster's writing. This is what Cadmus believes.

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1 Paul Cadmus to E. M. Forster, 7 May 1944. Paul Cadmus letters to E. M. Forster, King's College Modern Archive, Cambridge (hereafter KCC). Rights: Private Collection of Jon Anderson. 2 E. M. Forster to Bob Buckingham, 8 May 1947, E. M. Forster Papers, KCC. 3 Forster, "American Notebook," 20 April 1947, KCC. 4 Forster, "What I Believe," in Two Cheers for Democracy (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1951), 67 (hereafter "What I Believe"). "I do not Believe in Belief," the essay begins. First published in The Nation on 16 July 1938, "What I Believe" was subsequently reprinted in the essay collection Two Cheers in 1951. The essay deliberately takes up the philosopher Bertrand Russell's paean to secular humanism, published in 1925. In 1950, Forster wrote to Jared French about choosing a title for his collected of essays; letters describing his decision have recently been acquired by the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale. 5 6 Forster, "What I Believe," 73. Ibid, 76.

7 Cadmus to Forster , 12 December 1943. Paul Cadmus letters to E. M. Forster, KCC. 8 Forster, "American Notebook," 20 April 1947, KCC. 9 Ibid.

10 Forster, "American Notebook," 27 June 1947, KCC. 11 Cadmus, quoted in Justin Spring, Paul Cadmus: The Male Nude (New York: Universe, 2002), 39. 12 Moffat, A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), 267. 13 Cadmus to Forster, 7 May 1944. Paul Cadmus letters to E. M. Forster, KCC. 14 Cadmus's What I Believe, 1947­1948; and Seven Deadly Sins, 1945­1949. 15 Moffat, A Great Unrecorded History, 277.

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La Vie Bohème in Paris's Latin Quarter was led by "literary men and artists of loose and unconventional habits living on what they can pick up on their wits." (Working women, of course, were often what these men picked up.) The term Bohemian was originally applied to gypsies, who purportedly arrived in France via Bohemia in the fifteenth century and were not allowed inside the gates of Paris.1 In 1958, when I arrived in New York, straight out of college, artists could no longer afford the gates of Greenwich Village, by then a shadow of its former bohemian self. But the Beat Generation was thriving in the East Village, where former tenements offered very cheap shelter to many poets, writers, musicians, and artists. After a few months in the unaffordable Village, I moved to a "coldwater flat" (by then there was hot water, but the toilet in the hall was shared) on Ninth Street and Avenue A at eighteen dollars per month. Frank O'Hara lived across the street. The Tenth Street galleries were the visual artists' focus, and in the early 1960s Lower East Side storefronts became venues for Happenings and artist-generated events, Claes Oldenburg's Ray Gun Theatre being one of the most memorable. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg did readings and partied in local lofts, and further west one could glimpse Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline at the Cedar Bar. It certainly looked bohemian to a middle-class, recent women's college graduate. In true bohemian fashion, there was plenty of alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, and a decided lack of respect for bourgeois virtues; I inherited my apartment from the drug-addicted nephew of an archbishop and my record collection from the former leader of a Communist cell. If a low income and an anarchist spirit are the determining factors in bohemianism, place and space are also significant. It has been taken for granted that the bohemian lifestyle is urban, but hippies in the 1960s took the countercultural rebellion to the rural countryside, new and contested territory, just like the New York invasion of un-remodeled industrial lofts, which was the city's contribution to the ongoing myth of the not-quite starving artist, the mid-twentieth-century counterpart of the Parisian garret, and my generation's main connection to earlier bohemians. As Lower Manhattan became less and less viable for small manufacturing in the 1950s, more and more artists began to creep into the vacant lofts. (With the Abstract Expressionists, the scale of art itself had expanded beyond apartment size, and New York Times art critic John Canaday bemoaned the fact that vacuous and overblown painting was a consequence of access to bigger spaces.)2

in LoWe r m a n h at ta n

L u c Y r . L i p pa r d

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Left: Children playing in unidentified artist's loft. Photograph by Robin Forbes. Right: Robert Ryman's loft at 163 Bowery, 1964. Photograph courtesy of Lucy R. Lippard. Opposite left: Unidentified Soho artist at work on large painting, 1976. Photographs by Robin Forbes. Opposite right: Note cards and ballots of the Artists Tenants Association.

We were willing heirs to classic bohemianism (though we would never have used that antiquated term) and the tradition of aesthetic risk-taking, which extended to living spaces. In the late 1950s, lofts were not yet chic. We visited artists on pitch-dark streets south of Houston Street; a faint light might be visible through an upstairs window; the downstairs door key was thrown out a window in a bag when we yelled up, and we might spend some time grubbing around in the gutter looking for it. Lofts then tended to be bare, grungy, and without much in the way of creature comforts--studios first and foremost, with a mattress, a clothes rack, a hot plate, and rudimentary plumbing. Since loft living was illegal, there was no landlord to complain to. Luckily most artists in those days were natural bricoleurs. In my first loft experience, in 1961, we begged the Bowery landlord down from seventy-five to sixty-five dollars per month because it was all we could afford; that was the last I remember seeing of him. There was water and plumbing only in the back--the studio, by the airshaft. My painter husband built a shower stall on stilts so it could drain by a hose into the toilet, and an industrial sink served as washbowl. The sink in the "kitchen" in the front living space was ingeniously built with a wheeled bucket under the drain so it could be rolled to the only drain in the back. Loft spaces were flexible; when our son arrived, the "kitchen" became a "nursery." By 1961, outrage had built in the artists' community because living in lofts, as so many of us did (some renting or owning individually, later some in co-ops), was still against the law. Predicting the Artworkers Coalition and events at the end of the decade, an Artists Strike was proposed, withdrawing all participation "from the life of the community" until (among other demands) artists' studios and residences were exempted from "the unnecessarily stringent requirements" applying to factories, and until artists were exempted from the "no work on Sunday" law.3 The battle was waged throughout the

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Ray Johnson's face collage for Lucy R. Lippard, 3 May 1969. Opposite: Soho, 1970.

1960s, with the Artists Tenants Association, the Lower Manhattan Township organization, and the Soho Artists Association leading various charges until finally, in the early 1970s, an annoyingly complicated process was put in place to allow "certified" artists to live in lofts of certain sizes in certain locations. Around the same time the Westbeth artists' housing project was completed, also accompanied by much controversy. Eventually, loft living--"C of O" (Certificate of Occupancy) or not--became de rigueur for anyone with aspirations to the "avantgarde," and then to "trustafarians" and professionals looking to be hip. Landlords (and artists) were not averse to raising the rents, and working artists were pushed out by unaffordable prices. Soho, with its handsome historic cast-iron buildings, was the first to go. By 1970 there were more galleries, restaurants, bars, some boutiques, lawyers, and doctors moving into lofts. What had been envisioned as a true "artists' neighborhood" had already capitulated to capitalism. However, it remained an artists' and activists' community for at least a decade. (Among our early neighbors were musician Charlie Mingus and the lesbian rights organization Daughters of Bilitis.) Today the area is barely recognizable as what it was in 1968, when I moved there. My artist son, who was three at the time, now lives with his wife, two children, cat, and dog in the now remodeled (but still funky) loft and has been president of the co-op. When I visit, I rarely run into anyone I know on the streets, where once going out to do the laundry was a social event. In the early l970s there were Street Works, guerrilla art forays, midnight wheat-pasting poster parties. My loft saw its share of antiwar, feminist, and Central America meetings. And dance parties. Before the old freight elevator was replaced by a slick residential box, before the stairwells were refurbished, someone coming from my loft scrawled on a downstairs wall: "I was just kicked out of the best party I've ever been to." (That must have been the time that Judy Chicago's wallet was stolen and we closed the place down.) I have always wanted to do an "artwork" consisting of a pile of maps on transparent acrylic sheets showing the trajectories of a large number of artists from one loft and neighborhood to another, detailing her or his partners, jobs, gallery affiliations, best art pals, and so forth, in order to display the subterranean networks that often determined aesthetic influences, careers, politics, and love lives. The vibrant life of Lower Manhattan's bohemians defined the art world for a couple of decades. When the street door began to be blocked by movie crews, it didn't look good. When Rupert Murdoch moved into a loft facing ours and the street was blocked off for a visit from Ariel Sharon, we knew it was all over. Since the 1980s artists became the flying wedge of gentrification, and by now Brooklyn is going the same way as Soho and Tribeca. Where are the Bohos hiding now? Well, in Berlin, "Bohème Sauvage parties" are popular, resurrecting the Roaring Twenties. Can the Secretive Fifties, and the Grooving Sixties and Seventies be far behind?

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1 William Rose Benét, "Bohemian," in The Readers Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (New York: Crowell Publishers, 1965). 2 John Canaday, "Art and the Fire Department," New York Times, 2 April 1961. 3 Sigrid Asmus, "The Artists' Strike," Arts Magazine 35, no. 1 (September 1961), 30­31.

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charLes h. duncan

The Transit Authority's attitude is now what it has always been: that graffiti is an intrusion; that it's a crime; and that it's something that we would like to do away with.1

E d wa r d S i lv E r fa r b , d i r ec t or of P u b l ic i n f or m at ion , n e w yor k c i t y t r a n s i t a u t hor i t y

There was a moving canvas that people saw [more] than they saw at the Museum of Modern Art. We were actually more famous than van Gogh and them son-of-bitches. . . . They had to do something about it so they call it graffiti and vandalism.2

T r a c y 16 8 ,

s e m i na l gr a f f i t i w r i t e r a n d or igi nat or of t h e

wi l d st y l e

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Tagged door at Jack Stewart's studio.

Below: A red subway car, fall 1972, with hits by Joker 183, Jak ­ 4, King Kool 143, and Tracy 186. Opposite bottom: Hits by Lil Pug, Roma, Flint 707, Tracy 168, Spanish Fly 169, Mack, Lil X Ray, Spin, Flint 707, Lil Doc 3, Billy, Ness I, and others, 1971.

During 1972, graffiti reached crisis proportions in New York City. The craze had started in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, gained momentum in New York's Washington Heights, and by the early 1970s youthful "writers" were tagging throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. In the earliest phase, graffiti appeared on the walls of building and lampposts, but by 1970 it was becoming concentrated in the city's sprawling transportation system--first on station walls, then the interiors of cars, and finally on the exterior surfaces of trains. By 1972, millions of subway riders watched day by day as their transit system became covered in cryptic markings covertly dashed-off in felt-tip marker and aerosol paint. For a city reeling from the aftereffects of fiscal mismanagement and fractured by racial tensions and unrest over the Vietnam War, the exploding presence of graffiti stood as a palpable reminder of a larger breakdown in civil order. Early in 1972, the New York Times proclaimed "Subway Graffiti Here Called Epidemic" and decried the social and financial costs of the phenomenon. The story cited Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) officials, who noted that the present barrage of "tags" was the work of juvenile offenders.3 A "Profile of a Common Offender" (compiled by the MTA several years later) described the typical graffiti writer as "Male; Black, Puerto Rican, other; predominantly 13 to 16 years old; and a student from a lower social economic background." It also noted that "personal recognition is sought."4 Central to the problem, the article added, was that "police are hampered, they say, by a lack of laws governing this kind of vandalism."5 Efforts by the MTA and the city to stem the tidal wave of graffiti stepped into high gear as the summer began. Youthful offenders

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caught in the act of writing were apprehended, brought before family court, and sentenced to scrub trains and walls of subway stations in a "punishment that fits the crime."6 The MTA established the Graffiti Task Force, and by October mayor John Lindsay's administration had in hand an anti-graffiti law that made it illegal to carry a can of spray paint in any public building or facility unless it was enclosed in a sealed container. Hundreds of subway cars were "buffed," or cleaned, yet the results could not have been more disastrous. The program was prohibitively expensive; more critically, it became a social nexus for artists who quickly joined forces to "bomb," or paint, the freshly cleaned carriages.7 Previous Times coverage had inadvertently encouraged the writers. An article published on 21 July 1971 bearing the headline "`Taki 183' Spawns Pen Pals," profiled a graffiti writer whose tag appeared in all corners of the city, including well-to-do neighborhoods frequented by the seventeen-year-old from Washington Heights who worked as a cosmetics delivery boy. Taki 183, the public learned, was the

New York Post clipping tagged by Caine I, 1 December 1981.

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Jack Stewart and graffiti writer B-3, ca.1973. Photograph by Brandon Stewart.

agnomen for a recent high school graduate named Demetrius, for which Taki is a traditional Greek diminutive. "183" denoted the number of the street on which he lived: 183rd between Audubon and Amsterdam. Taki was not the first the first to mark-up New York's urban landscape in such ubiquitous fashion (he graciously credited Julio 204 as an inspiration), but in 1983 he noted that his media notoriety helped to mythologize the status of the graffiti writer, enticing hundreds, if not thousands, to join a subculture so emboldened that "after a while it looked like they opened the faucet."8 As he told the Times, "I just did it everywhere I went. I still do, though not as much. You don't do it for girls; they don't seem to care.You do it for yourself. You don't go after it to be elected President."9 New York graffiti artists were fortunate to attract the interest of a devoted, knowledgeable historian very early. Jack Stewart (1926­ 2005) was born and raised in Atlanta, studied painting under Josef Albers and Willem de Kooning at Yale, and in 1951 moved to New York City where he completed important mosaic mural commissions and studied architecture.10 "I entered Columbia architecture school not so much to be an architect but because if painters didn't learn to speak the language of architects, they weren't going to be able to communicate regarding murals."11 He completed an MFA at New York University and taught painting and drawing at Cooper Union, rising to be chairman of the art department.

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Throughout his life, Stewart nurtured a keen sense of line as well as a mirror approach to type (left-handed, he wrote in mirror text like Leonardo da Vinci). During the late 1960s Stewart began to photograph subway writing "simply because I had always been interested in graffiti. Drawing probably preceded every other form of art, and what we call `graffiti' was in fact the beginning of art."12 Combined with his first-hand knowledge of mural production, Stewart recognized that the typographic mark-making on the New York City transit system was an exciting new outgrowth of age-old forms. In 1971, outfitted with Pentax, Nikkormat, and Miranda 35mm cameras, he frequented platforms of the IRT, BMT, and IND lines to photograph the bold black-and-white "hits" on the sides of red transit cars. The following year he documented the emergence of colorful "masterpieces"--entire subway cars emblazoned with large-scale tags, many executed with increased concern for graphic style. Eventually, Stewart was granted permission to photograph on MTA properties, where he met the young writers who knew that the city's train yards, tunnels, and lay-ups (tracks where cars are parked when not in service) offered efficient staging grounds from which to bomb trains. The first one I met was a guy named Priest . . . he was about 13. He and a girl and a black writer. And they came up to me and said, "Are you a cop?" I said, "No." They said, "Are you from the newspaper?" I said, "No." They said, "Well, why are you photographing the graffiti?" I said, "I am an artist and I like it."13 The fact that Stewart, a highly trained artist and teacher in his late forties, conversed seriously with dedicated graffiti writers about the aesthetic merits of their pieces undoubtedly elevated the value of their enterprise in their eyes. By 1973 Stewart was inviting young writers to his East Village studio for Saturday afternoon slide shows to identify and critique images of outstanding work. Their accounts were key when Stewart began a detailed chronology of the evolution of mass transit art in 1978.14 I [had them over] on the agreement that they would not mark graffiti around on my paintings and in my studio because they all seemed to have a nervous tick which can be a problem when you have a marker in your hand. I gave them the bathroom door as a graffiti wall and they hit all their names on [it]. And the other thing they would let me do is tape their comments, so I have about sixty hours of graffiti comments, most of them "oohs and ahhs," but many of them describing the actual event under which the slide that I showed, the piece, was done.15 By 1973 the New York subway trains were covered by a staggering number of hits. To distinguish their work from the clutter of more pedestrian efforts, the most accomplished writers executed larger

, the public learned, was the agnomen for a recent high school graduate named Demetrius, for which Taki is a traditional Greek diminutive. "183" denoted the number of the street on which he lived: 183rd between Audubon and Amsterdam.

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This page, clockwise from top left: Topcat 126 platform letter piece, 1972; Detail of Blade's double whole-car piece, 1975; Flint 707 striped 3-D piece, summer 1973; Hondo 1 candy cane letter piece with cross-out, fall 1972.

and more eye-catching designs. Top writers introduced simple embellishments--for example, arrows and polka dots--and key graphic innovations like the fractured Wild Style, 3-D, and balloon lettering types were celebrated and "bitten," or copied. Growing stylistic development bred a more complex and dynamic influence. Subway trains now acted as moving murals that traveled from borough to borough, shifting the traditional role of graffiti from territorial marker to a linear form of visual communication. Largely

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unaware of the magnitude of their contributions, the predominantly untrained New York artists had introduced a stylistic lexicon and approach to public expression that effected the only sweeping transformation in graffiti since the Paleolithic period. Late in the 1970s Stewart drew together his study of "mass transit art" in a Ph.D. dissertation, the first scholarly consideration of the aesthetic history of graffiti. In it, he charted the critical progression of distinct developmental phases and compiled comprehensive

This page, clockwise from top left: Another detail of Blade's double whole-car piece, 1975; Tags of Barbara 62, Eva 62, and Michele 62, the first girl writers; Last car of a Fabulous Five whole-train piece Christmas scene painted by Lee, Mono I, Slug I, and Doc 109. The complete wholetrain piece ran for one day only Monday, 12 December 1977--before the cars were broken up.

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Regina and Jack Stewart, 1976. Photograph by Raeanne Giovanni.

appendices of artists, writers clubs, major public events, and street terminology. Ultimately, Stewart came to view the span of years from 1968 to 1978 as graffiti's renaissance, with Early, High, Synthetic and Late periods, a unique iconography, and even a formal hierarchy between master and novice writers, referred to as "toys."16 "The thing I noticed about subway graffiti was that the writers developed an apprentice system. Subway graffiti is the only art form in several centuries that adopted the very same training technique that was used in the Renaissance. . . . Their studios were the yards and lay-ups, and young writers would flock to those they admired. [One,] Tracy, was a master at that; he would have six guys working for him."17 By the end of the decade, mass transit art had completed its developmental trajectory and began to wane on the New York subways, aided by successful policing efforts by the MTA and the aging of important innovators who no longer enjoyed "youth offender" status. Yet as graffiti faded in New York, the colorful lexicon of mass transit art was enthusiastically embraced by newly spawned writers in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, triggering the global assimilation of this original visual art form. By the eighties in New York, hip-hop laid claim to graffiti roots and inevitable commercialization began, complete with gallery exhibitions of graffiti on canvas.18 Stewart and the early writers knew, however, that the migration of mass transit art's graphic styles to mediums controlled by the art establishment ran counter to its very nature. Essential to the achievements of the early New York writers was the thrill and immediacy of "getting one's name up" in a clandestine manner and the art of crafting designs in relationship to the contours, scale, and surfaces of subway cars. Most importantly, mass transit art of the 1970s was the unmediated expression of a youthful bohemian street culture unfettered by the constraints of the commercial art world. As Tracy 168 commented later, "It's by the people for the people. The tail don't wag the dog, the dog wag the tail. We ran this shit."19

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The Jack Stewart Papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2010 by Regina Serniak Stewart. In addition to chronicling the life and artistic contributions of Jack Stewart, the collection offers documentation on mass transit art during the 1970s via more than 2,000 photographic slides; audio interviews and transcripts with graffiti writers and MTA officials; drawings by seminal graffiti artists; printed material; and ephemera. Also included are comprehensive research materials on graffiti as a world art form. 1 Edward Silverfarb, Director of Public Information, New York City Transit Authority, interview conducted by Jack Stewart, 6 March 1984. Jack Stewart Papers, Archives of American Art (hereafter cited as Stewart Papers). 2 Audio recording, meeting of the Ex Vandals graffiti writers club at Jack Stewart's New York City Studio, ca. 1985. Stewart Papers. 3 "Subway Graffiti Here Called Epidemic," New York Times, 11 February 1972. 4 Profile of a Common Offender, prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 1978. Jack Stewart, "Subway Graffiti: An Aesthetic Study of Graffiti on the Subway System of New York City, 1970­ 1978" (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1989), reproduced on 203­205. 5 Dr. William J. Ronan, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, quoted in "Subway Graffiti Here Called Epidemic." 6 "Coming Clean," New York Times, 1 May 1972. 7 "Bomb" means to completely cover a train with graffiti. 8 Taki 183, interview conducted by Jack Stewart, 9 September 1983, Stewart Papers. 9 "`Taki 183' Spawns Pen Pals," New York Times, 21 June 1971.

10 Stewart first studied with Steffen Thomas, a Germanborn sculptor who offered a vigorous four-year education in sculpture, painting, and drawing and advised Stewart to "Go to Yale, it's the only good art school in America." Jack Stewart, interview conducted by Janice Caswell, 18 December 1996 (hereafter Caswell interview), Stewart Papers. 11 12 Ibid. Ibid.

17

"Photo Synthesis," 42.

18 Exhibitions of graffiti on canvas had begun as early as 1972 with the establishment of the United Graffiti Artists collective, which showcased the talents of mainly Hispanic writers. 19 Audio recording, meeting of the Ex Vandals graffiti writers club at Jack Stewart's New York City studio, ca. 1985, Stewart Papers.

13 "Photo Synthesis: Jack Stewart Knows the History of Graffiti Because He Was There," Chris "Daze" Ellis, in Mass Appeal, no. 18 (2002), 42 (hereafter cited as "Photo Synthesis"). 14 The core group of early writers who contributed to the slide show sessions gave Stewart the honorary agnomen "Jack 7." 15 Stewart, Caswell interview.

16 "Toy" is often a derisive term connoting inexperience or ineptitude. It is most commonly used to describe a novice or to insult a respected graffiti writer. The Early Period (1968­ 1971) marks the introduction of graffiti on the mass transit system and its mainstream recognition. Graphic styles originated in single-line tags and evolved to include bubble letters, filled-in outlines, decorative embellishments and the earliest masterpieces. The High Period (1972­1973) took advantage of a large stock of freshly cleaned cars on which writers created larger tags with more advanced lettering styles including marshmallow, 3-D, and Wild Style, as well as cloud and flame backgrounds. During the Synthetic Period (1974) new writers copied existing styles while experienced writers exhibited variations on established themes with an emphasis on exquisite execution, and introduced such innovations as the use of cartoon characters. The Late Period (1975­1978) saw the fullscale assimilation of graffiti as an art form, mainly through the efforts of a small group of masters who frequently created sophisticated whole-car and even whole-train masterpieces.

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c h r i s t i n e i . oa k L a n d e r

HigH Jinks and ExpErimEntal art

A casual reader of the New York Times on 10 February 1917 would easily have missed a paragraph buried inside, an account of a bohemian artists' party: The members of the Penguin Club . . . staged their spectacle `A Holiday in a Latin-American Town' at the Palm Garden . . . last night. Only those in costume were admitted. . . . The result in some instances was striking, to say the least. The Mexican soldier, principally the wounded follower of [Pancho] Villa, played a prominent part in the evening's events and was chased ruthlessly over fields of real cactus plants. . . . All the new branches of art, including the vorticists, who explained that their work was the expression of emotion, were represented. There were many exponents of the futurist and cubist schools.1 The Penguin, a loose-knit group of like-minded artists, was organized by Walt Kuhn (1877­1949) late in 1916.2 Kuhn and his colleague Arthur B. Davies (1862­1928) were the art-world veterans who masterminded the famous 1913 Armory Show.3 For the first time in the United States, thousands of viewers saw examples of the modern European "isms"-- Cubism, Futurism, and Fauvism--with their distorted forms, blazing colors, and seemingly nonsensical themes. During the early years of the century, taste in New York was conservative. In 1908 an exhibition at Macbeth Gallery of boldly painted urban realist scenes had earned the artists the derisive label "Ashcan School," despite the fact that American patrons for years had vied to purchase work by Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Franz Hals, masters known for their sympathetic depictions of daily life among the lower class.4 Even by the time of Kuhn and Davies' international

Alfred Frueh's poster for an exhibition put on by the Penguin, 1918.

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showcase for the latest experimental art, Impressionist painting was still relatively new here, although it had emerged forty years earlier in France. The Armory Show was a deliberate public challenge to this kind of artistic conservatism and took direct aim at the National Academy of Design (NAD), the art school and exhibiting society that had ruled the American art world since the mid-nineteenth century with its annual juried exhibition and restrictive membership.5 Until the Armory Show, emerging artists had scant opportunities to show their work, unless they were friends with a member of the NAD. The annual show was juried, but members exhibited jury-free; each year thousands of nonmember hopefuls entered renditions of the human form in excruciating anatomical detail placed in sentimental literary, religious, or historical scenes. Also deemed acceptable were romantic depictions of pastoral or wild landscapes, while portraits of the famous or precisely rendered still lifes squeaked in under the line. After the Armory Show, which invited Impressionist and Ashcan School painters to participate but barred academicians, the exceedingly private and endlessly creative Kuhn and the brilliant, mysterious Davies continued to fulminate against the NAD and conservative art in general.6 August 1915, writing to patron John Quinn from the art colony at Ogunquit, Maine, Kuhn offered caustic, and typical, commentary: I don't think I have ever read better and more simple argument for the new [that is, modernist] movement than Wyndham [Lewis's]. The rotten art atmosphere he writes about is flourishing here with bells on . . . I went through the colony with Charley P[rendergast] the other day & never had a more discouraging & depressing experience in my life. Commerciality, disguised by a thin slice of art gush with a strata of venom against progress. . . . The International has of course done wonders. Its effects are visible all through this colony, one of the biggest in the country. What we need . . . is some sort of a well organized demonstration which will make the cheap commercial artist a thing despised by the public. You can't be a gentleman in warfare. . . . Weeds must be destroyed at the root, and a clearer line made between the Academy and the real sporty worker.7 Clearly Kuhn was plotting another attack, and the Penguin may have been the outcome.8 The Penguin was a splinter group of friends and like-minded artists who seceded from the Kit Kat Club, an artists' club that after thirty years had become rigid and just plain boring. The breakaway group, which sought to promote experimental art and to revitalize and expand the Kit Kat's annual costume balls, functioned without dues, rules, or official membership rolls. In theory, any artist could join in Penguin activities, but in reality, everyone had to pass muster

Ladies' and Mens' tickets for the Penguin's Arts Ball, Fête Day in a Spanish-American Village, 9 February 1917.

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with Kuhn. Nonetheless, the Penguin gave a wide range of young artists a place to exhibit, congregate, and exchange ideas. Kuhn and his circle of friends and supporters immediately threw their energy, creativity, and zest for fun into a series of art exhibitions and memorable events. The faithful were John Farrand, Louis Bouché (1896­1969), Jules Pascin (1885­1930), Wood Gaylor (1883­1957), and Horace Brodzky (1885­1969).9 Davies was an éminence grise, providing a printing press, loans from his collection, funding, and key introductions. Quinn was another pillar of support, supplying money, connections, legal advice, and frequent loans from his personal collection. The Penguin's principal activities--a mix of bohemian high jinks and serious discourse--were a yearly costume ball, weekly life drawing class, solo and group exhibitions, informal art auctions, and the occasional "stag" or social gathering. Expenses for the events and for rent on the Penguin's rooms at 8 East 15th Street were covered by

Wood Gaylor, Penguin party (detail), ca. 1917­1919, pencil on paper. Collection of the author.

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proceeds from the ball and donations from Quinn and other friends of Kuhn. Kuhn was ringmaster, and the carefully scripted performances had elaborate costumes, backdrops, and props that took months to prepare.10 Guests were vetted for the cast-of-thousands events, and their costumes were inspected by a clown jury at the door. The Penguin's inaugural show, which opened on 10 January 1917, made a dramatic statement but unfortunately went almost unnoticed by the press.11 The specific details are unknown, but it is clear that Quinn and Kuhn worked with Vorticist poet Ezra Pound to assemble a collection of seventy-five Vorticist drawings and paintings.12 The Vorticists were a radical group of British abstract artists who blended aspects of Cubism and Futurism in bleak and violent scenes of war, modern technology, and factories, painted in heavy, somber colors. In the end Quinn, who underwrote the exhibition, was the only buyer. Apparently undaunted, the club energetically continued its program of events and shows. The Spanish­American costume ball just a few days later was a smashing success. The ball was followed by a concert on 25 March, "Exhibition of New Music"13; and the next day the club opened a large "Temporary Group" exhibition of work by friends and followers including Brodzky, Bouché, Gaylor, Grace Mott Johnson, James Daugherty, Morgan Stinemetz, Dorothy Meltzer Hunt, and Frances S.

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Stevens. Since most of the 107 works had nondescriptive titles and there was little published criticism, it is difficult to grasp the show's overall tone.14 In fact, the only identifiable piece is Daugherty's watercolor Three Base Hit, a futurist rendition of a baseball game published in the New York Herald in 1914. Stevens contributed Color Vibrations (a printing press), judging from the title and external evidence probably a modernist theme informed by futurism and the color abstractions of French artists Sonia and Robert Delaunay or Americans Stanton Macdonald-Wright, A. B. Frost, Jr., Morgan Russell, or Patrick Henry Bruce.15 On 27 October 1917 the Penguins opened a second group exhibition of greater scope and importance than the March show.16 One hundred ten paintings, sculptures, and works on paper were featured, with modernists Hunt Diederich, Robert Laurent, Maurice and Charles Prendergast, Charles Sheeler, Henry Fitch Taylor, Max Weber, Patrick Henry Bruce, A. B. Frost, Jr., Morton Schamberg, Picasso, Gaudier-Breszka, Marie Laurencin, and Maurice de Vlaminck taking part. The evening of 10 November, the show contents were sold at public auction. With eighteen purchases totaling almost $1,000, again it is likely that Quinn was the most important buyer.17 One supporter, critic S. Jay Kaufman, cheered the club's experimental, free spirit: Nothing more fascinating has come to town in months. These artists are bound by no traditions, no conventions, no bosses, no commissions. They are free. And therein is their power. And their power should be encouraged because that power is courage. The idea is this: any modern sends his work and after the exhibition is over it is auctioned. Their gallery . . . is sure to be a landmark. . . . Freedom. And, curiously enough, some of these moderns have become so popular that the average person is beginning to consider the work of men like Walt Kuhn, Glackens, Brodzky, Gaudier-Brzeska, Farrand, and Pascin conventional. But go to the Penguin show, if only because the Penguin idea MUST live.18 The group also had a tangible impact on the careers of several adherents. Almost twenty years later, in an article for Esquire, Bouché remembered his Penguin experiences as pivotal: Perhaps the most potent influence in the formative years of Louis Bouché was the Penguin Club. . . . Jules Pascin attended and John Quinn, the collector, patronized. The [Penguin] Club ran a semi-private gallery in which young artists could exhibit and there were informal free-for-alls in the heat of which a young fellow like Bouché could hear what the veterans of art thought about the matter. Pascin, Quinn, [George Overbury] "Pop" Hart and Kuhn, with Bouché in their respectful wake, would go off to Mouquin's and make a night of it talking about art, while Pascin, between drinks, would exhibit his marvelous ambidexterity, sketching with right

Above: Alfred Frueh's poster for Horace Brodzky's exhibition, 1918. Opposite: James H. Daugherty, Three Base Hit, 1914.

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notEwortHy amEricans includEd patrick HEnry BrucE, Hunt diEdEricH, wEBEr, artHur dovE, man ray, cHarlEs dEmutH, marsdEn HartlEy, JosEpH stElla, JoHn marin, prEston dickinson, william and marguEritE ZoracH, and middlEton manigault. tHE EuropEans includEd picasso, picaBia, glEiZEs, lEwis, laurEncin, gaudiEr-BrZEska, gEorgEs BraquE, JEan métZingEr, rogEr dE la FrEsnayE, andré dErain, diEgo rivEra, raymond ducHamp-villon, and FErnand légEr.

and left hands simultaneously. ... [Bouché] ... declares on sober recollection that he owes more to Walt Kuhn than to anyone else. Kuhn, he testifies, had a great flair for discovering people. ... The Penguin club exhibited the first [Alexander] Brook the first [Louis] Eilshemius and the first Bouché, and what's more, sold then.19 Other Penguin firsts were the etchings and drypoints that Kuhn, Gaylor, Pascin, and "Pop" Hart made for group events using Davies's donated printing press. According to Gaylor, none of these artists had any prior experience with printmaking.20 Pascin made two fantastical etchings for a 7 July 1917 party honoring Penguin stalwart Charles Farrand. Bibulous, leering men, women, and imaginary creatures are watched over by the honoree and a giant penguin. The menu proffers "Salmon Sauce à la Hell," "Spagetti [sic], Dream of the Orient," "Ice Cream Woodland Mythe," and other spoof dishes. Inspired by these early experiments in graphic art, Hart and Pascin became noted printmakers. The Penguin presented at least two more group exhibitions before it disbanded, one an "Exhibition of Contemporary Art" opening 16 March 1918 and the other in April 1919.21 The 1918 exhibition was a tour de force, with 151 works by American and European artists, each contributing one piece that had never before been exhibited in New York. Noteworthy Americans included Bruce, Diederich, Weber, Arthur Dove, Man Ray, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, Joseph Stella, John Marin, Preston Dickinson, William and Marguerite Zorach, and Middleton Manigault. The Europeans included Picasso, Picabia, Gleizes, Lewis, Laurencin, GaudierBrzeska, Georges Braque, Jean Métzinger, Roger de la Fresnaye, André Derain, Diego Rivera, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and Fernand Léger. Quinn purchased Duchamp-Villon's Gallic Cock along with a handful of other pieces, including the Rivera. How did the Penguins gather this impressive array of European modernist art? Many of the pieces were borrowed with the help of Davies, Quinn, and dealer Alfred Stieglitz, whom Kuhn asked to lend works by Hartley, Marin, "or any others you may recommend" for the March 1918 exhibition.22 Quinn's involvement is evident in the number of works in the show by Yeats, Gwen John, and Augustus John, artists with whom the patron had close relationships and who were otherwise unknown in this country.23 One critic gave an astute reading of the spirit and accomplishment of the 1918 show: Time may not yet be ripe for pitting the Penguin against the Academy, but the possibility is not altogether remote. In the modest galleries . . . in a commercial building just off Union Square, a contemporary art display is hung, the catalogue of which recalls the historic armory show. . . . Not only the names [of leading American and European modernists] are here, but representative works . . . of these men and

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women who collectively are blazing the untrodden ways of modern art. . . . A singular harmony, joyous, eager and throbbing, pervades the atmosphere of this seemingly haphazard assemblage of 150 . . . examples of painting and sculpture, which have nothing in common except a certain sense of freedom and adventure in color and rhythm. One feels the untrammeled . . . expression of many ardent individual talents--and that is about as nearly as an up-to-date art show can be defined.24 Penguin activities did not always revolve around the cause of modernist art. In December 1918, the Penguins rallied to help the war effort. In conjunction with the third Red Cross Roll Call Parade, they created and installed at reviewing stands along Fifth Avenue huge paintings with military and medical themes.25 Enthusiastic Penguins and non-Penguins submitted sketches, and the fifty-two compositions approved by Kuhn were projected by a magic lantern onto canvases and painted quickly under assembly line conditions at Penguin headquarters. A glorious chaos with a sense of camaraderie and energy filled the rooms, spilling over to the sidewalk outside. Participants included Davies, Bouché, William Zorach, Bertram Hartman, Robert Chanler, Edward Hopper, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Dana Gibson, Joseph Stella, and Weber, who painted in his characteristic cubist-futurist manner.26 In May 1918 Kuhn wrote to his wife Vera, providing a fascinating fly-on-the-wall account of another Penguin event attended by a crowd of high-energy artists and other art-world luminaries: [T]he stag [was a g]reat success. In spite of a pouring rain we had a big crowd . . . some of the "prominents" outside of the regulars Bahr and two bankers from Hong Kong, Speiser of Philadelphia, Leo Ornstein Jimmy Swinnerton told some wonderful stories, Itow danced a little, four or five musicians danced and played and sang and Schou and Pop Hart furnished the endurance music. Gregg was drunk before the dinner started and left the whole chairmanship in my hands. In spite of being unprepared I got away with it. Kaufman of the Globe made a first rate auctioneer and Salle played a couple of good pieces.27 The Penguin's April 1919 "Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture, Etc. by a Temporary Group" exhibited 125 works by invited American artists, most affiliated with the club and each represented by a maximum of four pieces, and was distinguished by a quantity of experimental works. John Covert's iconic Brass Band was accompanied by E. E. Cummings's Sound No. 2 and Noise No. 3, Henry Fitch Taylor contributed three carved concrete sculptures, while Hunt Diederich displayed three half-archaic, half-modernist cast-iron decorations.28 The Penguin's last years are not yet firmly documented. It is not clear if the spring 1919 show was the Penguin's last, but a June 1919

Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Gallic Cock [Rooster], 1916 (cast 1919).

The Penguin's Summer Outing, 15 June 1919.

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Summer Outing is described in a clipping found in Kuhn's papers. The field day took place in Coytesville, New Jersey, at "the spacious grounds of the Honorable Geo. Overbury Hart . . . the boy artist of the Palisades." Gaiety and laughter, abetted by ample food and drink were the order of the day. Entertainment possibilities included "The Penguin Jazz Orchestra--(strictly home talent)," "Penguin Gustavus Mager the eminent banjoist [who] will journey all the way from Newark to jangle the Strings for us," and Pop Hart, who was to "lecture on his recent trip to the Windward Islands (provided the guests so desire)." Food was home cooked by "Ben Benn, the great futurist chef," Bob Ament had "charge of the candy stand and cloak room," and Brodzky "looked after all the unattached young ladies."29 Two more social gatherings were held in 1923.30 The public events at the Penguin were always successful, with a surprisingly wide range of artists attending, from established academic types and popular illustrators to avowed modernists. The same was not true of Penguin exhibitions; while there were cheerleaders like S. J. Kaufmann and Henry McBride, they were criticized by conservative commentators. In a review of the April 1919 show, one such critic made it clear that Kuhn and his friends still had much work to do:

Announcement for the Penguin's stag dinner commemorating Horace Brodzky's departure for England, March 1923.

It is fortunately seldom that so utterly hopeless an exhibition is put on in this city . . . in which the extreme modernist and "ultramodernist"schools are represented. There are two of the so-called crazy quilts by Rozel O. Butler ... John Alger contributes three weird interpretations of sand dunes. Ben Benn's "Still Life" is crude and hideous, registered in a perpendicular, instead of a horizontal plane, while his other offerings are merely travesties. Not a single figure in the entire show is worth serious criticism and the nudes are simply atrocious, and distorted in an extraordinary degree. Most of the items . . . represented wasted energy and intellectual dissipation.31 Together, the Penguins had accomplished something that lasted beyond parties, shows, and the jeers of the conservatives. Defying the Academy and "white bread" art, championing modern art in a city without a strong avant-garde presence, they provided a valuable forum for a wide range of artistic expression and highlighted work by the most experimental American and European artists. It was a pattern--social and institutional--that was carried forward in the New York art world for decades.32

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HigH Jinks and ExpErimEntal art

1 "Penguins Ban Clawhammer; Fancy Costume Required of All at Artists' Club Ball," New York Times, 10 February 1917. The actual title of the ball was "Fête Day in a Spanish-American Village." In the 1910s and 1920s, artists' costume balls were extremely popular. Many of them were held in Webster Hall, at 125 East 11th Street. 2 A November 1916 article about the show calls the Penguin a new club. [Frederick James Gregg?], "At last, the Vorticists!" Vanity Fair 7 no. 3 (Nov. 1916), 72. 3 The show was officially titled the "International Exhibition of Modern Art ." 4 Macbeth was then the only gallery in New York dedicated to promoting American art. 5 The pivotal publication on the exhibition remains Milton Brown's Story of the Armory Show (n.p.: Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1963). 6 In February 1914 and April 1915, Kuhn, Davies, and a handful of Armory Show exhibitors also spearheaded at Montross Galleries a series of important modernist shows that critics immediately linked to the Armory Show. Coincidentally, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA), whose motto was "no jury no prizes," opened its first show in April 1917. There was overlap between exhibitors with the Penguin and the SIA. 7 Kuhn to Quinn, 29 August 1915. Correspondence, reel 21, no frame, John Quinn Memorial Collection. Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations, New York. Quinn, Davies, and dealer Alfred Stieglitz were the earliest American collectors of modernist art. Quinn's importance as a collector and patron to vanguard American and European artists cannot be overstated. 8 The Penguin organized exhibitions from 1917 to 1919 and perhaps later, although social gatherings took place as late as 1926. (Walt Kuhn, Data for Death Notice. Reel 1607, frame 33, Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Family Papers, and Armory Show records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution [hereafter cited as Kuhn Family Papers]).

9 Gaylor exhibited at the Armory Show and helped organize other independent artists groups in the 1920s. Pascin, a brilliant graphic artist, was a Bulgarian who came to New York in 1914 to avoid the war and joined the Kit Kat Club. In the 1920s, Bouché ran the modernist Belmaison Gallery for Wanamaker's department store. Farrand is an unknown artist. The Australian Brodzky, who also fled the war, is little known today. He was however an integral part of bohemian life in Greenwich Village in the teens and early twenties, serving as art editor for several "little magazines." Important Penguin material at the Archives of American Art is in the Kuhn Family Papers, the Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor Papers, and the Louis Bouché Papers. 10 Other events included a Prohibition Ball, Strawberry Festivals in 1917 and 1918, and a Fireman's Ball. 11 The exhibition was originally planned for summer 1916 at Montross Gallery, but Montross pulled out at the last minute. A November 1916 article, "At last, the Vorticists!" said that the show was opening soon at "the new Penguin Club." Judith Zilczer discusses the show in "The Noble Buyer": John Quinn Patron of the Avant-Garde (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978). 12 Works by Wyndham Lewis, Frederick Etchells, William Roberts, Jessica Dismorr, and Helen Saunders were included, and Penguin organizers tried unsuccessfullyto borrow sculpture from the Henri Gaudier-Brzeska estate. 13 The concert featured Kuhn's brother-in-law, pianist La Salle Spier, playing music by Claude Debussy, Serge Rachmaninoff, Max Reger, Paul Juon, Jeremiah Purre and Algernon Ashton. Reger was a modernist composer; Purre, who also exhibited art with the Penguin but is otherwise unknown, probably was as well. 14 "Exhibition / Temporary Group / at the / Penguin," microfilm reel D128, frame 17, Louis Bouché Papers, Archives of Americana Art, Smithsonian Institution (hereafter cited as Bouché Papers).

15 Stevens, whose only known painting is in the Arensberg Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, participated in the Armory Show and exhibited Futurist paintings in the teens. 16 "Exhibition and Sale of Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Etchings at the Penguin," microfilm reel 1611, frames 924­ 930, Kuhn Family Papers. 17 The auction grossed $2,600.50. Davies' Starlit brought the top price of $175; Kuhn's sculpture Absalom's Horse $160; and Pascin's Horsemen $105. Most pieces sold for single or low doubledigit figures. 18 S. Jay Kaufman, "Round the Town: See the Penguin Show," Globe and Commercial Advertiser, 1 November 1917, 14. 19 Henry Salpeter, "Louis Bouché: Boulevardier of Art," Esquire (November 1937). Clipping, microfilm reel D128, frame 167, Bouché Papers. 20 Samuel Wood Gaylor, "Reminiscences," microfilm reel D100, frames 235­328, Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor Papers, Archives of Americana Art, Smithsonian Institution. 21 The club also mounted at least one solo show for Brodzky. 22 Kuhn to Stieglitz, March 1918, box 29, folder 687, Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keefe Archive, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Collection of American Literature, Yale University. Dealer Newman Emerson Montross may also have helped with loans. 23 Quinn lent Yeats's Political Meeting and he may have lent Gleizes's Landscape, but the generic title makes it impossible to know for certain. See Zilczer, "The Noble Buyer," 99, 146. 24 "Art News and Comment: The Penguin Salon," Christian Science Monitor, 25 March 1918, 16. 25 Although the armistice had been signed in November, in the aftermath, there were still pressing needs at home and abroad.

26 Laurence Hague, "In a Red Cross Art Factory," clipping, Louis Bouché scrapbook, microfilm reel D128, frame 83, Bouché Papers. 27 Walt Kuhn to Vera Kuhn, 4 May 1918, microfilm reel D240, frames 858­860, Kuhn Family papers. Bahr was A. W. Bahr, an important Asian art collector affiliated with Montross Gallery; Speiser was Maurice J. Speiser, attorney and patron to modernist artists and writers; Ornstein was a brilliant modernist pianist and composer, Swinnerton was an illustrator and Penguin follower, Itow was Michio Ito, the gifted and popular Japanese choreographer and dancer active in Greenwich Village circles, Schou was Sigurd Skou, painter and Penguin. Gregg was Frederick James Gregg, art critic and cheerleader for experimental art, Kaufman was critic S. Jay Kaufman, and Salle was La Salle Spier. 28 "Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture, Etc. by a Temporary Group," Louis Bouché scrapbook, microfilm reel D128, frames 11­13, Bouché Papers. 29 "The Penguin's Summer Outing 1919," Microfilm reel 1614, no frame, Kuhn Family Papers. 30 In 1923 there were at least two dinners, one in January in honor of Gregg and another in March to bid adieu to Brodzky, who was returning to England. A themed dinner showcasing a skit by the "Union Square Volunteer Fire Brigade" was organized in 1926, with sculptor Constantin Brancusi as the lastminute honoree. 31 W. G. Bowdoin, "Degenerate Art at The Penguin," American Art News, 12 April 1919, 2. 32 In the mid- to late 1910s, several galleries fostering American modernist art opened in New York City, most notably the Carroll, Modern, Bourgeois, and Daniel galleries. In the early 1920s, Penguin followers including Bouché, Gaylor, Weber, the Zorachs, Taylor, Pop Hart, and Brodzky came together again to organize two independent exhibiting groups: the nonjuried Salons of America and the Modern Artists of America, Inc. The Salons was active through 1936, though the Modern Artists apparently held only two exhibitions.

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American Fine Arts Laboratory of Exhibition and Idea: A Close-to-Your-Chest Goof

r h e a a n a s ta s

Below and opposite top : Daniel McDonald, Forced to Sell Works from a Private Collection in Order to Offset Living Expenses (Wicked Witch of the West), 2008. Mixed media. Courtesy of the artist and Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin. Opposite bottom: Installation of the exhibition "Election," curated by James Meyer, at American Fine Arts, Co.

In 2002 an interview with art dealer Colin de Land was included in a revised edition of The Art Dealers, first published in the early 1980s.1 The new volume offered recent oral histories on the state of the profession, and de Land's statement of approach appeared alongside narratives by such 1950s- and 1960s-era innovators as Betty Parsons, Leo Castelli, Richard Bellamy, Paula Cooper, and Marian Goodman. De Land's inclusion demonstrated forcefully that the venture later known as American Fine Arts, the experimental contemporary art gallery he created, had gained a certain measure of recognition after two decades.2 Still, with a stridency that was characteristic of the program and intellectual tenor of American Fine Arts, de Land treated the occasion of de Coppet's and Jones' Establishment-focused book as an opportunity to issue his opposition to the dominant conditions in the field of contemporary art. To take just one instance from an interview teeming with propositions for the art, ideas, and institutions of his time, de Land asserted the historical imperative, since Conceptualism, of meaning-driven versus market values in art: I always thought after Joseph Beuys with his buckets of fat, or Sol LeWitt and Lawrence Weiner with their instructions for wall drawings, that from then on the viability of a work of art would no longer be connected to monetary value. I'm talking about the true discourse of visual culture, economics, production, the conditions that inform or restrict what gets brought to the surface for inspection, evaluation, and consideration. That being the case, I'm not thinking of the gallery exclusively as a place to show art works, but as a place that demonstrates what artists do.3 De Land's challenging arguments about the aesthetic and social value of the gallery as a "nexus between the artist's studio and the

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Above: Soho So Long, cover from the document of interviews presented with the exhibition "Soho So Long," 1996. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Peter Fend, sign under painting by Julia Wachtel (missing central panel), American Fine Arts, ca. 1993.

marketplace"4 call to mind the most pointed theorizations of that interrelationship since the 1960s, particularly in the writings of artists Daniel Buren and Robert Smithson. "The investigation of the apparatus the artist is threaded through," projected Smithson, speaking to an interviewer in 1972, "is the great issue, I think it will be the growing issue, of the seventies."5

···· ···· ···· ·· ·· ··

Born in 1955 in Union City, New Jersey, de Land, who studied philosophy and linguistics, always articulated his ideas with the structural rigor and polemics of a practiced critic.6 Unlike most critics, however, who interpret art from a purportedly objective distance, de Land's readings were formulated in close communion with the artists he respected and showed, in dialogues that extended

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throughout works' conception, exhibition, and reception. In the postmodern universe of post-evaluative aesthetic judgment that de Land's thought inhabited, polemics came with advocacy. For example, de Land's rejection of the mythologized persona of the art dealer in contemporary art--e.g., the Leo Castelli type-- came through clearly in a sociological study of de Land's tastes and professional habits presented as a hybrid artists' text-interview in 1992.7 Dealers are usually valorized for their role as "gatekeepers" who identify individual artists and their influence within art historical movements. With American Fine Arts, de Land created a permissive, changeable laboratory that was artist- and ideacentered. Artistic positions associated with the gallery for the most part shared little else than being under-represented by other New York venues; work by Peter Fend and his collaborative venture Ocean Earth Construction and Development Corporation; Jessica Stockholder; Jessica Diamond; Dennis Balk; Mark Dion; and the most singular artist to emerge in post-minimal installation, Cady Noland, all come to mind in this regard. The many contributions by de Land and his gallery await historical accounting. For starters, the gallerist conceived and published the journal Acme, put out the gallery's many significant pamphlets, helped to organize the Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair and the New York Armory Show, and mounted several decades' worth of programs and exhibitions. American Fine Arts launched a younger generation of artists (e.g., Mark Dion, Andrea Fraser, and Christian Philipp Müller) who articulated pluralistic connections to historical 1960s positions in institutional critique. Other activities broadcast de Land's strong opposition to potential canon-formation within the walls of his own gallery; among various gestures, he formed (and secretly joined) the by turns satirical and earnest neoconceptual group Art Club 2000; and closed his gallery for a series of conversations by a provocateur-curator in disguise, Storm van Helsing, about "what was wrong" with American Fine Arts and the art world. De Land was often called transgressive or dysfunctional on the business side of art dealing, but because he consistently infused his activities with such a pervasive sense of humor, it is maybe more precise to call his work at American Fine Arts an as-yet-undefined new medium in-between art-making, the commerce of art, theater, and gesamtkunstwerk. It's telling that after his studies de Land gravitated to writing, but found selling art and starting his gallery to be more fruitful than other odd jobs he held, including writing blurbs for TV Guide.8 All in all, de Land's formation was closer to that of an autodidact than the typical gallerist, who might have apprenticed in galleries or museums or studied art history, and his humorous self-presentation consciously hid his critical intelligence and polemical side. "I chose the name American Fine Arts because it sounded like uptown galleries dealing in nineteenth-century painting," he told a journalist. "It's a close-to-your-chest goof."9

1 Laura de Coppet and Alan Jones, "Colin de Land," in The Art Dealers: The Powers Behind the Scene Tell How the Art World Really Works, rev. ed. (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2002), 342­ 351. The first edition of The Art Dealers appeared in 1984 and presented interviews conducted by its authors during the first years of the 1980s. 2 De Land began dealing in art in 1980 and founded American Fine Arts in 1982, operating an exhibition space (for a short period named Vox Populi) continuously from 1984 out of several Lower East Side and East Village storefronts. During 1988 de Land moved American Fine Arts, Co., to Wooster Street in southern Soho (where the gallery first occupied number 40 and then number 22). From 2001 the gallery's program was conducted at the 22 Wooster Street and a Chelsea location. The latter was the former space of Pat Hearn Gallery (the gallery of de Land's late wife), where later a group of artists and principals of American Fine Arts continued to program under the gallery name until November 2004 after de Land's premature death in 2003. 3 De Land as cited in de Coppet and Jones, 2002, 348. 4 Ibid., 347.

5 Robert Smithson as cited by Craig Owens in Owens, "From Work to Frame, or, Is There Life After `The Death of the Author'?," Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture, eds. Scott Bryson, Barbara Kruger, Lynne Tillman, and Jane Weinstock (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 122. 6 Roberta Smith, "Colin de Land, 47, Art Dealer Who Fostered Experimentation," New York Times, 6 March 2003. 7 Andrea Fraser, "Another Kind of Pragmatism: an interview with a contemporary art dealer," in Andrea Fraser Works: 1984 to 2003 (Cologne: DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag and Hamburg: Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2002), 129­132. This text was first published in 1992. 8 De Land in de Coppet and Jones, 343. 9 De Land as cited in Christopher Bollen, "Not for Sale," Arena no. 17 (Spring/ Summer 2002), 312.

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Colin de Land & Pat Hearn

J o h n Wat e r s

Colin de Land

I am proud to be a member of the Colin de Land­Pat Hearn cult. Every day I fight the urge to get Colin's initials bolted above my lips with metal studs to replace my moustache. And even though I've never, until this moment, considered being tattooed, maybe Pat's first and last names painfully inked on the bottom of each foot would be spiritual protection for my continued walk through the minefields of the art world. Colin de Land and Pat Hearn became legends early in their careers, yet who could have predicted that these two royaltyfrom-the-gutter art dealers would help think up something as wildly financially successful as the Armory Show? Colin may have appeared flakey at times but this was just a disguise to hide behind as he auditioned just how serious you were about art. Pat may have been known as the "Holly Golightly" of the art world but she was no trust fund dilettante. No, she blazed her own trail through the most abandoned neighborhoods in Manhattan and made the weekly art addicts come to her galleries and fight their way through the real addicts who were there first. Like two demented Leo Castellis, Colin and Pat were creating brands and when they became a couple-- wow!--heterosexuality never looked more wondrous. Here was

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Pat Hearn

Both made you work hard to get to know them but when you did you were admitted to a special club.

Opposite: Colin de Land with Andy Warhol (top) and John Waters (bottom).

an anti-power couple who attracted the most nervy collectors and artists through a demand for radical originality and raw astonishment. Nobody could buy these two and hang them on the wall in their living rooms but culture vultures wished they could.Together Pat and Colin were the greatest magic trick of all--hard core art itself. Of course, both were complicated. Colin could throw his artistic monkey wrench into even the most perfectly planned event at the last minute to reboot the perception of the artist. If he was expected somewhere he was invariably late or a no-show. If you came to him with an artist you were just sure he'd love, you could be rudely disappointed. But the artists he did embrace sometimes took years for anyone to appreciate and this was his talent--making you finally "get it." Pat had to constantly reinvent herself to survive, yet she never seemed bitter and her galleries seemed like holy safe houses for rejects from the fringes of the art world. Who else could "mother" photographer Mark Morrisroe? Colin and Pat were born leaders and I was happy to be a follower. Everybody craved their attention. Both made you work hard to get to know them but when you did you were admitted to a special club. Colin was cagey too--much smarter about business than people surmised. What other dealer forced collectors to divvy up the check and pay their share of the "artist's dinner" after the opening? Colin was the only art dealer I knew who had no art hanging on the walls of his apartment. But he broke more than just art world laws--he broke the real ones too. Especially if they had to do with parking. Every year when the tabloids ran headline stories about "New York's Worst Parking Ticket Scofflaws" I expected to see him on the cover. He had a secret, too. He wanted to be a film director, but just imagine Colin taking "notes" from a studio executive! When Pat Hearn was betrayed she suffered in silence and forgave, the way a true Catholic saint should. Didn't the fact that she never gave up on artists who sold poorly when she initially represented them have a huge effect on their careers today now that she is gone? A nod from Pat could eventually make your prices skyrocket but she never seemed resentful if you left her behind and clawed your way up the art ladder. She was the one who gave you a show first (or sometimes last) and that's what counted. What a sexy couple they were--even when both were dying of liver cancer. Fashion plates right up to the day they lost consciousness. Chemo wigs in place, outfits altered for weight loss. If they had to die, God, couldn't it have been on the same day so they could go together? I wonder who will play these art-world-role-models-tomany in the movies when their lives are eventually told somewhere on the big screen? Followers everywhere--let's chant their names out loud in unison. Colin! Pat! COLIN! PAT! That's it! Now we're going into a trance and we're getting high in memory of their brilliance and defiance. Get up here to the altar of devotion. We are not worthy. Let's drink the Colin de Land­Pat Hearn poison Kool-Aid. Stop pushing. No shoving. I want to be the first in line.

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suZ annah Lessard

Shortly after some shadowy photographs of a New York dinner at one of the so-called bohemian clubs frequented by artists fell into my hands, I happened to be chatting on the phone with my mother. "Is Grandpa there?" asked my mother when I mentioned the photos. She meant Stanford White, her grandfather, my great, who frequented the bohemian clubs a lot. Thus the subject is in our bloodline. "I don't see him, but the images are dark and poorly framed." "Maybe the photographer was drunk." "There are actresses who danced for the guys, or at least one did, in a big bustley dress that's short enough to reveal the ankles." "That was the Spanish style. I know that because I was recently looking at a book about Spanish dance. The shoes were pretty." "I feel as if I am peering into the depths, with a Ouija board, at the back of a closet."

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"The airless depths of provincial nineteenth-century New York." "They are wearing these suits." "I know without seeing the photographs that the suits are too hot." "A picture on the wall is skewed." Ringing laughter . . . "On the other hand there are candelabra, tablecloths. Lilies. . . . Not really bohemian." "What would the word be?" A silence ensued in which I failed to think of the word. "There are crazy bright squiggles of light over their heads like creative thoughts gone haywire, probably smoke catching the light in a slow exposure." "Quicksand." "In some photos the women are dressed up in fencing outfits, dueling with each other or the men." "What was that all about? How did they know how to fence?" "They look pretty good at it." "Do you think that the actresses were virgins?" "NO!" Will she ever learn? "I was referring to the lilies." She got me. "There is an article here too about another bohemian dinner given by John Singer Sargent. Grandpa was at that one and William Merrit Chase." My mother then digressed. "When Uncle Temple Emmet's father lost his job in New York he sat his daughters down and told them that they now had to support the family income by painting. They were just girls. That was so the boys could go to English schools in beautiful suits. The girls went out to the East End of Long Island where Chase taught them." "Really!" "And also Sargent. Isn't that amazing!" Suddenly I was in sunlight breathing ocean, fields, oils, air.

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t h e P h oto G r A P h s

in Gilded AGe neW YorK, Gentlemen's cluBs Were imPortAnt. membership expanded rapidly after the civil War, and by century's end the spectrum of these associations was wide and ran from famous, intentionally exclusionary institutions with splendid Beaux-Arts buildings to the ad hoc and everything in between. As did the english clubs they imitated, the grandest private clubs gave members a comfortable refuge away from home and the stress of day-to-day life. Businessmen and lawyers were the largest cohort, of course, but many artists and other creative men belonged as well. stanford White--the grandpa of the dialogue above--is perhaps the most famous of the artist-clubmen, a tireless bon vivant and nexus between the social life of the big clubs and more private forms of stag amusement in the city. White and his friends sought nighttime amusement all over town. they ate at restaurants like sherry's, visited roof gardens like the casino and madison square Garden, and slummed at concert saloons or dance halls. they also gave parties and created a complicated network of shared apartments, hired rooms, and studios for the purpose. the photographs published here, preserved in the papers of the painter otto Bacher, were probably taken in the late 1880s or early 1890s. one, first published in 1982 by trevor fairbrother, shows the famous spanish dancer carmencita giving a private performance in february 1890 at the studio of J. carroll Beckwith, as John davis discovered in the 1990s. the others show what we imagine to be the more raucous kind of private bohemian party. the setting or settings are not, unfortunately, known, but some of the participants have been identified as Will h. low, John Wilmer dewing (White's colleague in the sewer club, which was made so much of after White was shot in 1906), John singer sargent, Beckwith, J. A. Weir, and John White Alexander. the photos of lady fencers remain a complete mystery. there are other photographs of women's fencing teams from this period, but no matter how ordinary such a demonstration may have been at the time, today, the fencer in spangled tights, so unlike her fellows, and the cigar-smoking male spectators strike an enigmatic note. for the full sequence of photographs from Bacher's papers, see www.aaa.si.edu: keyword: Bacher papers. --Darcy Tell

editoriaL

Darcy Tell, Editor Jenifer Dismukes Managing Editor

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Winterhouse

subscriptions & singLe issues

Individuals may receive the Journal with a gift of $100 or more to the Fund for the Archives. Institutional rate: $75 for 1 year Single-back issues: $15 a copy All inquiries regarding subscriptions, back issues, and manuscript submissions should be sent to: Editor Archives of American Art Journal P.O. Box 37012 MRC 937 Washington, DC 20013 T. 202.633.7971 Manuscripts submitted for publication should be based in part on materials in the Archives. Full text of volumes 2­44 (1962­2005) available online through JSTOR. Articles published in the Journal are abstracted and indexed in the Art Index and in Historical Abstracts America: History and Life. Opinions expressed in the Archives of American Art Journal are those of the authors and not necessarily of the editors or the Archives of American Art. ©2010 Smithsonian Institution.

Watch for Collectors, the theme of our next Journal, in June 2011. Artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo with collector Chester Dale, 1942­1945.

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Archives of AmericAn Art

the archiVes oF american art , founded in 1954 and a unit of the Smithsonian Institution since 1970, provides researchers with access to the largest collection of documents on the history of the visual arts in the United States. The collection, which now totals more than sixteen million items of original source material, consists of the papers of art-world figures and the records of art dealers, museums, and other art-related businesses, institutions, and organizations. Original material can be consulted, by appointment, in Washington, DC; the most actively used holdings are available on microfilm through Interlibrary Loan or at Archives offices in Washington and New York, and at affiliated research centers in Boston, Fort Worth, San Francisco, and San Marino, California. The Archives is part of one of the world's great research centers for the arts and sciences. In addition to its federal funding, the Archives raises a portion of its annual budget from private sources, including its membership program and contributions from individuals and organizations. mission statement: The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art enlivens the extraordinary human stories behind America's most significant art and artists. It is the world's largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America. Constantly growing in range and depth, and ever increasing in accessibility to its many audiences, it is a vibrant, unparalleled, and essential resource for the appreciation, enjoyment, and understanding of art in America. re Ferenc e s erV i c e s : The catalogue of the Archives'

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Headquarters & Reference Center P.O. Box 37012 The Victor Building Suite 2200, MRC 937 Washington, DC 20013 T. 202.633.7940 Research. 202.633.7950 Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery at Reynolds Center 8th and F Streets NW, 1st Floor, Washington, DC Hours: 11:30-7 daily. Admission is free.

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Suzanne D. Jaffe Chair Barbara Mathes President Arthur Cohen Vice President Lynn Dixon Johnston Secretary Barbara G. Fleischman Frank Martucci Janice C. Oresman Members at Large Warren Adelson Ann E. Berman Gerald E. Buck Edward O. Cabot Helen W. Drutt English Ruth Feder Martha J. Fleischman Diane A. Fogg Leslie K. S. Fogg John K. Howat Wendy Jeffers Judith Jones Gilbert H. Kinney Nicholas Lowry Ellen Phelan Marla Prather John R. Robinson Rona Roob Eli Wilner

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holdings is available nationwide and internationally through the Smithsonian Institution Research Information Service (SIRIS). Reference requests can be sent by fax or mail to Reference Services at the Washington office or via e-mail at: http://www.aaa.si.edu/askus. Unrestricted microfilms and transcripts of oral history interviews are available through interlibrary loan. Requests can be sent to the Washington office by mail, fax, or through our website, where an online order form is available at: www.aaa. si.edu/interlibraryloan.

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Boston Public Library Copley Square Boston, MA 02117 T. 617.536.5400 x 2275 Hours: Mon, Thurs-Sat 9-5 Sun 1-5 (October-May); No appointment necessary. Amon Carter Museum 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, Tx 76107 T. 817.738.1933 [email protected] Hours: Wed and Fri 11-4 Thurs 11-7. de Young American Art Study Center 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr. San Francisco, CA 94118 T. 415.750.7637 Hours: Mon-Fri 10-5. Huntington Library 1151 Oxford Rd. San Marino, CA 91108 Appointments: [email protected] huntington.org

Trustee Council

Dr. Helen I. Jessup Samuel C. Miller Theodore J. Slavin

Trustees Emeriti

Nancy Brown Negley Chair Max N. Berry, Esq. Dr. Irving F. Burton Dona Kendall Richard A. Manoogian Marilyn Schlain Alan E. Schwartz A. Alfred Taubman

Founding Trustees

Lawrence A. Fleischman Mrs. Edsel B. Ford Edgar P. Richardson

Ex Officio

Dr. G. Wayne Clough Secretary, Smithsonian Institution Dr. Richard Kurin Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian Institution

Director

John W. Smith

Archives of Americ An Art Journ Al 49: 3­4

79

credits

Cover: Otto Bacher Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Pages 4­13: Francis Davis Millet and Millet Family Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, with the exception of the image of Lily Millet on Page 8 (arrived at the age of discretion), which is in a private collection. The photograph of Lily Millet was made by Marc Simpson and is used with permission. Page 14: (top) René d'Harnoncourt Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, (bottom) Florence Arquin Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 16: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Barbara Latham; Page 17: (top) Eugene Berman Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, (below) Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Pages 18­ 19: René d'Harnoncourt Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 20: Nickolas Muray Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 21: Marion Greenwood Photographs and Printed Material, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 23: Katharine Kuh Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 24: Maltby Sykes Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Pages 26­27: George Tooker Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Pages 28­29: Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin, Art © Jon F. Anderson, Estate of Paul Cadmus/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.; Page 31: Private Collection, Art © Jon F. Anderson, Estate of Paul Cadmus/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.; Page 32: George Tooker Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Page 34: Joellen Bard's, Ruth Fortel's, and Helen Thomas' Exhibition Records of "Tenth Street Days: the Co-ops of the 50s," Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 35: Ellen Hulda Johnson Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 36: (left) Robin Forbes' Slides of Soho, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, (right) courtesy of Lucy R. Lippard; Page 37: (left) Robin Forbes' Slides of Soho, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, (right) Artist Tenants Association Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 38: Lucy R. Lippard Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 39: Robin Forbes' Slides of Soho, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Pages 40­48: Jack Stewart Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Page 51: Louis Bouché Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 52: Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Family Papers, and Armory Show Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 53: Collection of Christine I. Oaklander, used with permission; Page 54: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1977, acc. no. 77.40; Page 55: Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Family Papers, and Armory Show Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 57: (top) Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Museum Purchase, 1977, (bottom) Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Family Papers, and Armory Show Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Page 58: Penguin Club Invitations, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Pages 60­61: (top) Courtesy of the artist and Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin; Page 61: (bottom) Photograph by Takahiro Imamura. Courtesy of The Estate of Colin de Land; Page 62: (left) Image courtesy of the author, (right) Colin de Land Photographs, Motion Picture Film, Videos, and Miscellany, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Pages 64­67: Colin de Land Photographs, Motion Picture Film, Videos, and Miscellany, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Pages 68­77: Otto Bacher Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Page 78: Chester Dale Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Archives of Americ An Art Journ Al 49: 3­4

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Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 49 Nos. 3-4: The Bohemians Issue

80 pages

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