Jonathan Najarian is Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Colgate University. He is the editor of Comics and Modernism: History, Form, and Culture, forthcoming with the University Press of Mississippi, and his writing has appeared in Twentieth-Century Fiction, American Literary History, and Contemporary Literature, among other venues. He is currently at work on a manuscript titled The Intermedial Era: Collaboration and Contact in Global Modernism, from which this article is drawn.
In early 1912, when Walt Kuhn, Walter Pach, and Arthur Davies convened to begin planning the International Exhibit of Modern Art, they decided that the show would need to include the most important artists working in the contemporary avant-garde. The 1913 Armory Show, as the exhibit came to be called, effectively brought experimental European art to the United States; for the first time in a major exhibit, artists like Matisse, Picasso, and Duchamp were brought together for American audiences.