The Eight and American Modernisms

The Eight and American Modernisms

by Elizabeth Kennedy
     
 

Frustrated by the art world’s elitism and the snobbish exclusivity of the academy’s juries, eight American painters united in 1908 to upend the establish norms and stage their own exhibition of modernist art. Led by the charismatic Robert Henri, they came to be known as "The Eight," and their two-week show at New York’s Macbeth Galleries drew a

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Overview

Frustrated by the art world’s elitism and the snobbish exclusivity of the academy’s juries, eight American painters united in 1908 to upend the establish norms and stage their own exhibition of modernist art. Led by the charismatic Robert Henri, they came to be known as "The Eight," and their two-week show at New York’s Macbeth Galleries drew a multitude of visitors, who crowded into the galleries to critique the much-publicized work of these "revolutionary" artists. Their paintings of urban scenes marked a significant departure from the prevailing style—which emphasized physical and natural beauty—and met with critical success.

The established chronicle maintains that the Eight were rendered dysfunctional and artistically irrelevant after European modernism arrived in the United States at the 1913 Armory Show. The Eight and American Modernisms revises this account and reevaluates these respected artists’ careers, including their late works. Accompanying a traveling exhibition, this lushly illustrated volume challenges the accepted wisdom about the evolution of the modernist style.

In addition to Henri, "The Eight" included William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, Arthur B. Davies, Ernest Lawson, and Maurice Prendergast.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780932171566
Publisher:
Terra Foundation For American Art
Publication date:
03/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Kennedy is curator of the collection at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago. She co-organized American Artists and the Louvre, the first exhibition of historic art of the United States to be shown at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, and Art in America: Three Hundred Years of Innovation, an unprecedented survey of American art that traveled to China, Moscow, and Bilbao, Spain.

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