Henry McBride (1867–1962) became a towering figure in art criticism during a long career that began in 1913—the year of the famous Armory Show in New York that opened American eyes to avant-garde developments in European art—and continued until the advent of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A sensitive and discerning observer of the changing cultural landscape, McBride not only wrote prolifically for publication but also corresponded extensively. In this remarkable collection of selected letters, Henry McBride describes some of the most important events and figures of twentieth-century modernism. Written in a characteristically charming, gossipy, and warm-hearted style, these letters reveal McBride’s responses to revolutionary changes in the world of art and in the world at large.
Closely allied to the pivotal circles that shaped modern culture, McBride counted among his correspondents such friends as Gertrude Stein, Carl Van Vechten, the Stettheimer sisters, Alfred Stieglitz, Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marianne Moore. His letters, along with the biographical introduction, headnotes, and rich annotation provided in this volume, present a unique perspective on twentieth-century modernism by one of its most ardent supporters.
Steven Watson is a cultural historian and the author of Prepare for Saints. Catherine J. Morris is a writer and curator.
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