Collecting as Modernist Practice by Jeremy Braddock

By Jeremy Braddock

In this hugely unique research, Jeremy Braddock specializes in collective different types of modernist expression―the artwork assortment, the anthology, and the archive―and their significance within the improvement of institutional and creative tradition within the United States.

Using broad archival learn, Braddock's examine synthetically examines the ignored practices of significant American paintings creditors and literary editors: Albert Barnes, Alain Locke, Duncan Phillips, Alfred Kreymborg, Amy Lowell, Ezra Pound, Katherine Dreier, and Carl Van Vechten. He unearths the best way collections have been devised as either versions for modernism's destiny institutionalization and culturally effective gadgets and aesthetic types in themselves. instead of anchoring his research within the common figures of the person poet, artist, and paintings, Braddock offers us a completely new account of the way modernism was once made, one founded at the determine of the collector and the perform of collecting.

Collecting as Modernist Practice demonstrates that modernism's cultural id used to be secured now not lots during the choice of a canon of important works as by way of the improvement of latest practices that formed the social which means of paintings. Braddock has us revisit the contested terrain of modernist tradition sooner than the dominance of associations resembling the Museum of recent paintings and the college curriculum in order that we'd examine modernisms which could were. delivering the main systematic assessment up to now of the Barnes beginning, an highbrow family tree and research of The New Negro anthology, and stories of quite a lot of hitherto neglected anthologies and records, Braddock convincingly indicates how inventive and literary collections helped outline the modernist circulation within the United States.

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O God, I cried, give me new birth And put me back upon the earth! Upset each cloud’s gigantic gourd And let the heavy rain, down-poured In one big torrent, set me free, Washing my grave away from me! . . . . . ”8 What Kennerley and Earle had intended as an innovative use of the anthology form was all too easily construed as an avatar of the old guard. Even the sympathetic review in the then-staid Dial betrayed the project’s belatedness. ”9 What had seemed to the Dial editor a reassuring ratification of American masters, however, was more widely viewed as a sign of a crisis of national cultural institutions: even an experimental project such as The Lyric Year ended up reifying the tendencies of academic verse.

Although the anthology form would later become for Pound the almost typological sign of the conspiratorial dimensions of culture under capitalism, in 1912 (the year of the first Georgian Poetry volume) Pound expressed much more sanguinity about the market: “Did not the palaces of the Renaissance have an advertising value? . At any rate in these new [New York] buildings the mire of commerce has fostered the beautiful leaf. ”73 Whereas Rainey has shown in Poundian imagism a rear-guard response to Marinetti’s radical publicity experiments, one might make an equally strong case for Pound’s wish, however fleeting, to use the example of Marsh’s successful anthology as a means of confirming the value of modernist poetry in the marketplace.

But although the episode would in retrospect resemble the later contests for legitimation characteristic of modernism’s cultural economy (the phenomenon of the legitimating scandal), Millay’s poem did not become a cultural fault line in the sense that Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase would the following year at the Armory Show, or as imagist poetry would, slightly less sensationally, shortly thereafter. The near-unanimous support for “Renascence” within the public sphere indicates that a different cultural economy was still operative at the moment of Earle’s anthology.

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