February 17, 2013 should have been declared a national holiday for art historians. The date marked the hundredth anniversary of the opening of the “International Exhibition of Modern Art”—the vast artist-organized compendium of (mostly) recent American and European work popularly known as “the Armory Show”—held at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets. The huge assembly of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper remained on view in New York through March 15, attracting approximately 87,000 visitors. Afterwards, a greatly reduced version, concentrating mainly on the contemporary European art that was the show’s most notorious aspect, traveled first to the Art Institute of Chicago (and was seen by an amazing 188,650 visitors) and then to the galleries of Boston’s Copley Society (where only 14,400 or so visitors saw...


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