Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Elizabeth Fowler

Honors Reader

Mary Warner Marien

Capstone Major

Art and Music Histories

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

American Art and Architecture | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


At the end of the nineteenth century American art and art exhibits were stuck in a conservative academic aesthetic that dominated the American art scene. Modernism, which had been flourishing in Paris since the 1870s, was still completely alien to the United States. The few progressive artists that were working in the U.S. found it impossible to exhibit or sell their work, since there was no market for American art done outside the National Academy of Design or the Society of American Artists. In order for these artists to succeed the American aesthetic needed to change in favor of a modern art market. The following study looks at what America needed to accomplish in order to become a part of a modern international art scene. The themes of education and acceptance of Modernism and progressive American work are explored through five figures and/or events that took place during the early twentieth century. The sections included Robert Henri and “The Eight” Exhibition (1908), Alfred Stieglitz and the “291” gallery (1905-1917), the International Exhibition of 1913 known as the Armory Show, Katherine Sophie Dreier and her Société Anonyme (founded 1920), and The Museum of Modern Art (founded 1929). Each section will discuss the historical content of the events and how it related to furthering America’s appreciation of living artists as well as opening up to the ides and movements from abroad. This study will conclude by looking at how the success of these events impacted society, both in the past and today.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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