An international exhibition of modern art held in February 1913 in New York. Coming after the first exhibitions of Matisse ( 1909) and Picasso ( 1911), both arranged there by Alfred Stieglitz (vide this name) in his Gallery 291, it has remained famous in the annals of artistic life in the United States. On the initiative of an artistic avant-garde which had already got itself talked about, a number of artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Derain, Vlaminck, as well as Kandinsky, Brancusi and Marcel Duchamp, were invited to exhibit their works, under prudent cover of some paintings, by Courbet, Ingres, Dceacroix and several of the leading Impressionists. The works of a number of young American painters were also on exhibit, chaperoned, so to speak, by a few artists of long standing such as Whistler, Ryder and Twachtman. Thus, every trend was represented: Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism and Abstract Art. The exhibition showed a perfect unity, the canvases having been selected with care. There seemed to be every reason to hope that it would be a success. Eleven hundred works were assembled in the armory of the 69th Cavalry Regiment, hence the name 'Armory Show'. The experiment was received with scandalous demonstrations unprecedented in the United States. Amid howls of derision and laughter, the Cubist room and, in particular, Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, were attacked by a frenzied mob that threatened to destroy the canvases it considered offensive to good taste. The Press, as was to be expected, endorsed the public's hostile attitude. Nevertheless, the exhibition was a great success, stirring up curiosity if nothing else. It moved to the Chicago Art Institute, where it was received with similar scenes. Boston showed the same disapproval, but with more restraint. Everywhere the exhibition provoked the same reaction. The Armory Show did, nevertheless, manage to find a few supporters and became the subject of somewhat penitent comment from its critics after it closed. But from then on modern art found a large audience in the United States.

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