Why did President Theodore Roosevelt call Cubism “repellent”?
Find out at the repeat screenings of “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show,” on Thursday, January 16 at 7 pm and again on Sunday, January 19 at 2 pm at the Memorial Art Gallery.
Written and produced by independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton, who is the executive producer of both 217 Records and 217 Films. 217 Films is an independent film company in Ashford, Connecticut devoted to the American artistic experience. “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” is 217 Films’ fifth film since 2005 about the art born of the profound energy and vigor of the American twentieth century. Excerpts from the film can be viewed below.
In 1913, The International Exhibition of Modern Art, known as the 1913 Armory Show, changed the face of art in America… for it was where many Americans had their first taste of a kind of art that did not look like anything they had ever seen. By entering through the doors of an armory between 25th and 26th Streets in New York City, they entered through the doors of the Modern Era.
From February 17 until March 15, 1913, Americans by the thousands pushed their way through the doors of the 69th Regiment Armory to experience Modern Art for the first time. What they saw annoyed and infuriated some… and captivated, delighted, and inspired many.
President Theodore Roosevelt, upon visiting the exhibition, called the most modern of these works “repellent”… and that was just the beginning of the controversy surrounding this historic show.
“The more I dug deeply into the history of the Armory Show,” said director Michael Maglaras, who also wrote the film and narrates it, “the more it became clear to me that, with the Armory Show, we had truly entered the American century: the century of our greatest achievements as a nation and the beginning of our preeminence on the world stage.”
“The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” features works by more than 60 American and European painters. The film probes deeply into the history of how the show was organized; examines the critical organizational efforts of American artists such as Arthur B. Davies, Walter Pach and Walt Kuhn; and explores the impact that the show had on collectors of art as well as ordinary citizens. Learn more via NPR