“All Americans live today and on a daily basis with some part of the legacy of the 1913 Armory Show.”
~ Michael Maglaras, Filmmaker
by Michael Maglaras
If I were to ask you, “What do you think of Modern Art?” or any of the variations of that question, and if you were to respond with something such as, “I don’t like it,” or “I like some of it,” or one of the many variations on those answers, it’s important to note that the idea underlying both the question being asked and the answer being offered is only about one hundred years old.
For the question itself and the reason for posing it have only recently come into our collective vocabulary and as a direct result of one event: an art exhibition held in New York City in 1913 that lasted only 27 days.
It was between February 17 and March 15, 1913 that a group of artists who styled themselves the “Association of American Painters and Sculptors” rented the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City, on speculation, to hold an art show that they were completely confident would change the world. Their confidence was well-placed. It would become the show of shows and the exhibition of exhibitions.
Everything you see today when you walk into a museum or gallery…how the work is hung on the walls; how you are directed from room to room to view what’s there; the way in which your progress through each room is guided or, using the fancier term, “curated”; the brochures, and books, and continuing commentary available to you which expands on the work you are seeing and is meant to heighten your understanding or raise your sensibility about the work shown…all of it, is the direct and absolute result of the International Exhibition of Modern Art held in 1913: what we now simply call “the Armory Show.”…
Follow this link to continue reading the Director’s Statement.
Meet the director at these upcoming screenings of The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show:
December 7, 2013 — 1:00pm
December 11, 2013 — 7:00pm
Special Fundraiser for Goodwill
Order Tickets HERE
Abromson Center – University of Southern Maine