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By Robert M. Crunden

In American Salons, Robert Crunden presents a sweeping account of the yankee come across with eu Modernism as much as the yank access into international battle I. Crunden starts with deft images of the figures who have been imperative to the delivery of Modernism, together with James Whistler, the eccentric expatriate American painter who turned the archetypal artist in his gown and behaviour, and Henry and William James, who broke new floor within the style of the unconventional and in psychology, influencing a world viewers in a extensive diversity of fields. on the center of the booklet are the yankee salons--the intimate, own gatherings of artists and intellectuals the place Modernism flourished. In Chicago, Floyd Dell and Margery Currey unfold new principles to Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, and others. In London, Ezra Pound might be chanced on at the back of every thing from the cigars of W. B. Yeats to the prose of Ford Madox Hueffer. In Paris, the salons of Leo and Gertrude Stein, and Michael and Sarah Stein, gave Picasso and Matisse their first safe audiences and earning; in the meantime, Gertrude Stein produced a brand new writing type that had an incalculable influence at the iteration of Ernest Hemingway. most crucial of all have been the salons of recent York urban. Alfred Stieglitz pioneered new types of images on the recognized 291 Gallery. Mabel stay clear of introduced jointly modernist playwrights and painters, introducing them to political reformers and radicals. on the salon of Walter and Louise Arensberg, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia rubbed shoulders with Wallace Stevens, guy Ray, and William Carlos Williams. by way of 1917, no paintings in the USA remained untouched by way of those new associations. From the journalism of H. L. Mencken to the recognized 1913 Armory exhibit in long island, Crunden illuminates this pivotal period, providing perceptive insights and evocative descriptions of the crucial personalities of Modernism.

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Whistler and his work so excited him that he presented Proust with a specially bound copy of Whistler's collected papers, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. Proust already felt an affinity for Ruskin, but found an almost equal enthusiasm for Whistler. Some of the material concerning the Whistler-Ruskin trial formed a backdrop in Jean Santeuil, and in the longer work the painter Elstir was clearly a character modeled in many ways on Whistler. 38 Most Americans scarcely noticed, but those few who did proved more than adequate to the task of keeping Whistler's influence a living presence in cultural history.

Louis Agassiz stirred him briefly and James did satisfactory work under Jeffries Wyman in physiology and Charles W. Eliot in chemistry. , has left a memorable picture of William as "addicted to 'experiments' and the consumption of chemicals, the transfusion of mysterious liquids from glass under exposure to lambent flame, the cultivation of stained fingers, the establishment and the transport, in our wanderings, of galvanic batteries, the administration to all he could persuade of electric shocks, the maintenance of marine animals in splashy aquaria," and so on.

He would attend their parties and perhaps accept their commissions; he might even, if he so deigned, take their money. But he would scorn them, he would make them wait, sometimes for decades, before delivering the picture, if he delivered it at all. On occasion, he would deliver it only to reclaim it later for alterations, and then never return it. He was famous, gifted, notorious, charming arid impossible by turns. 26 But while Whistler was cultivating a pose as the temperamental lateVictorian dandy, he was simultaneously a serious, hard-working artist.

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