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American Salons
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In American Salons, Robert Crunden provides a sweeping account of the American encounter with European Modernism up to the American entry into World War I. Crunden begins with deft portraits of the figures who were central to the birth of Modernism, including James Whistler, the eccentric expatriate American painter who became the archetypal artist in his dress and behavior, and Henry and William James, who broke new ground in the genre of the novel and in psychology, influencing an international audience in a broad range of fields. At the heart of the book are the American salons--the intimate, personal gatherings of artists and intellectuals where Modernism flourished. In Chicago, Floyd Dell and Margery Currey spread new ideas to Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, and others. In London, Ezra Pound could be found behind everything 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 secure audiences and incomes; meanwhile, Gertrude Stein produced a new writing style that had an incalculable impact on the generation of Ernest Hemingway. Most important of all were the salons of New York City. Alfred Stieglitz pioneered new forms of photography at the famous 291 Gallery. Mabel Dodge brought together modernist playwrights and painters, introducing them to political reformers and radicals. At the salon of Walter and Louise Arensberg, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia rubbed shoulders with Wallace Stevens, Man Ray, and William Carlos Williams. By 1917, no art in America remained untouched by these new institutions. From the journalism of H. L. Mencken to the famous 1913 Armory Show in New York, Crunden illuminates this pivotal era, offering perceptive insights and evocative descriptions of the central personalities of Modernism.
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About the Author

Robert M. Crunden is Professor of History and American Civilization at the University of Texas at Austin.

Reviews

'The assimilation of material from Europe and America, from literature, art, philosophy and photography is often breathtaking, demonstrating a breadth of research seldom witnessed. For anyone seeking a history of the relationship between European and American Modernism, this book will be indispensable.' Christopher Gair, University of Nottingham, American Studies, Volume 28, Part 2 - 1994 'This is a rich assemblage of creative personalities, vividly drawn, product of exhaustive archival research.' Contemporary Review, 1993 'Crunden has done us a service by making us wonder whether such terms as modernism really mean anything at all.' The Times `ambitious overview of American modernism ... Crunden's survey sweeps far and wide in its compass, but like those early film makers, the author knows a good close-up when he sees one.' Anthony Quinn, Sunday Times

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