The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University
A Catalogue Raisonné
Imprint: Portal (Art)
- Published: Friday, 1 Jun 1984
Dust jacket notes: "The Societe Anonyme, founded in 1920 by Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray, was responsible for introducing contemporary European art to the American public. In its first decade, the Societe organized over fifty exhibitions, including the first one-artist shows in this country given to Archipenko, Kandinsky, Klee, Leger, and Villon. Through its exhibitions, lectures, and publications, the Societe hoped to show the public that there were both social and spiritual benefits to be derived from progressive modern art. Donated to Yale University in 1941, the collection of the Societe Anonyme was augmented by Dreier during the last years of her life and by works from her estate upon her death in 1952. The combined collection boasts works by 180 artists and rivals the most important public collections of modern art in America. Its particular flavor owes to its having been formed by artists rather than by collectors. Thus, in addition to substantial holdings of famous artists such as Duchamp, Kandinsky, Klee, Leger, Lissitzky, Mondrian, Man Ray, Schwitters, Stella, and Villon, one finds works by less well-known artists of unusual interest and growing reputation, such as Bruce, Buchheister, Carlsund, Covert, and Duchamp-Villon. This generously illustrated catalogue raisonne provides the only thorough history of the Societe Anonyme and for the first time documents and reproduces the entire collection and associated works from the Dreier estate - a total of 1020 items. The catalogue includes a short biography of each artist and a complete bibliography and exhibition history for each work. Most works are accompanied by interpretive essays incorporating new ideas and information, and often by Duchamp's original texts, never before fully published. This handsome volume is thus of both intrinsic and historical importance, an essential resource to anyone interested in the history of modern art in America...."