The Harvard Society for Contemporary Art – Exhibition Timeline and Artists 1929-1932
Many essays have been written about Lincoln Kirstein (1907 – 1996), John Walker III (1906 – 1995), and Edward M. M. Warburg (1908 – 1992) and their exhibition venue at 1400 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, on the second floor of the Harvard Coop Building, in Room 207 and 208. To know the exhibition timeline and the shown artists is important for each survey on the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art and is subject of this blog post as part of artist-info‘s focus on documenting exhibitions from 1880 up to the present, worldwide.
The Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, Inc. wanted to show new currents and movements in art by local and national artists, as well as new European artwork, architecture, design, typography, film, and photography. Although the three student’s budget to run the gallery was very limited, their enthusiasm for Modernism wasn’t and their groundbreaking effort was influential in many ways. The three had the courage to confront the public, the press, the art critics with gallery exhibitions of Modernism artwork – which wouldn’t have been possible without the academic network they belonged to: First to mention Paul Sachs and Edward Forbes, then A. Everett ‘Chick’ Austin, Kirk Askew, Jere Abbott, Alfred H. Barr, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, and the undergraduates Philip Johnson and Julien Levy.
Their mission was based on the exhibitions they organized and the artists they were showing in these exhibitions. The timeline below starts with their first exhibition in February 1929 until 1932, the year Lincoln Kirstein moved to New York. He had become member of MoMA’s Advisory Committee and was chairman of the exhibition committee, and the exhibition’s director, which organized Murals by American Painters and Photographers – Mural Paintings and – Photo-Murals, the opening exhibition at MoMA’s new address at 11 West 53rd Street.
Exhibition History and Artists 1929-1932
An alternative to the static list below provides the interactive exhibition timeline on the artist-info page of the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, with all exhibitions, all their artists and access to the artists’ other exhibitions and exhibition venues.
|Each exhibition with opens the exhibition's individual artist-info.com page,
with each artist's full name, link to the artist's exhibition history on artist-info.com, and additional links, e.g. Wikipedia and WorldCat-Identity / other Authority Control.
To be sure that the list of artists of some exhibitions isn't incomplete we continue looking up original archival material.
|Last update February 19, 2018|
|19.02. - 15.03.1929|| An Exhibition of American Art
Archipenko, Bellows, Benton, Burchfield, Davies, Deskey, Hopkinson, Hopper, Kent, Lachaise, Laurent, Locher, Marin, Miller, O'Keeffe, Poor, Robinson, Sloan, Speicher, Sterne.
|19.03. - 12.04.1929 || An Exhibition of the School of Paris 1910–1928
Bonnard, Braque, Brâncusi, Chirico, Despiau, Dufy, Gris, Kisling, Lalique, Laurencin, Linossier, Maillol, Man Ray, Masereel, Miró, Modigliani, Pascin, Rouault, Segonzac, Soutine, Vlaminck. 1
|April - 09.05.1929||Maurice Prendergast|
|20.05. - 24.05.1929|| Richard B. Fuller - 4D - Dymaxion House
|Books and Illustrations from modern German Presses (Traveling Show)|
Including two watercolors by A. Everett 'Chick' Austin.
|17.10. - 01.11.1929|| An Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture by the School of New York 1920–1930
Blume, Bois, Calder, Davis, Dickinson, Glackens, Kane, Kuhn, Kuniyoshi, Lachaise, Luks, Noguchi, Sheeler, Weber, Zorach.
|07.11. - 27.11.1929||Derain Matisse Picasso Despiau. 2|
|06.12. - 30.12.1929|| American Cartoonists and Caricaturists
Arno, Bacon, Bairnsfather, Barton, Calder, Carlisle, Collier, Covarrubias, Darling [Ding], Dove, Fisher, Fruch, Haupt, Held Jr., Hoskinson, Irvin, Karass, Kirby, Kronengold, Low, Miskey, Nagle, Odie, Rea. 3
|10.01. - 25.01.1930|| Japanese and English Pottery and Weaving
Cardew, Hamada, Leach, Pleydell-Bouverie. 4
|27.01. - 04.02.1930||Alexander Calder|
|04.03. - 15.03.1930|| Watercolors by 5
Chase, Cutler, Hopkinson, Pepper, Perkins - Sculpture by Noguchi.
|12.03. - 14.03.1930|| Richard B. Fuller - 4D - Dymaxion House
Updated model of Dymaxion House.
|21.03. - 12.04.1930|| Modern Mexican Art
Ángel, Charlot, Goitia, Guerrero, Mérida, Orozco, Pacheco, Posada, Revueltas, Rivera, Siqueiros, Tamayo. 5
|17.04. - 10.05.1930||Modern German Art 6
Paintings: Beckmann, Grosz, Heckel, Hofer, Kaus, Kirchner, Klee, Kokoschka, Kolbe, Mueller, Nolde, Pechstein, Rée, Rohlfs, Schmidt-Rottluff, Schulze-Soelde, Schwichtenberg.
Prints: Barlach, Baumeister, Boehle, Corinth, Dix, Feininger, Grosz, Großmann, Heise, Hofer, Hofmann, Kandinsky, Klee, Klemm, Kokoschka, Lehmbruck, Liebermann, Michel, Mueller, Nolde, Pechstein, Schmidt-Rottluff, Schrimpf, Sintenis, Thoma.
Sculpture: Amstem (Adams), Belling, di Fiori, Kolbe, Lehmbruck, Sintenis.
|15.10. - 31.10.1930||Exhibition of American Folk Painting in Connection with the Massachusetts Tercentenary Celebration 7|
|07. - 29.11.1930 || Photography 1930
Abbott, Atget, Beaton, Bourke-White, Bruehl, Evans, Gerlach, Hoyningen-Huené, Man Ray, Modotti, Móhóly-Nagy, Rittase, Schell, Sheeler, Steichen, Steiner, Stieglitz, Strand, Ulmann, Weston. 8
|December 1930 - 15.01.1931 || Bauhaus: 1919-1923 Weimar / 1924 Dessau
Albers, Bayer, Borchert, Brandt, Classen, Clauss, Feininger, Feininger, Gropius, Itten, Kandinsky, Klee, Marcks, Mies van der Rohe, Muche, Nösselt, Schlemmer, Schreyer, Stölzl. 9
|23.01. - 13.02.1931|| Pablo Picasso - 40 Drawings, etchings, lithographs, and facsimiles
|February 1931||Harvard graduates|
|21.02. - 21.03.1931|| Modern American Art
Carroll, Eilshemius, Gibbs, Kantor, Kopman, Marsh, McFee, Orr, Tobey.
(22nd HSCA Exhibition)
|27.03. - 18.04.1931||England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, 1890–1930. Painting, Drawing, Sculpture 10|
|November 1931|| Modern Painting in Review
Cézanne, Degas, Derain, Gauguin, Gogh, Kandinsky, Léger, Marin, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Seurat.
|December 1931|| Abstraction
Archipenko, Braque, Brâncusi, Chagall, Chirico, Gauguin, Gris, Lachaise, Léger, Masson, Mondrian, Móhóly-Nagy, O'Keeffe, Picasso.
|January 1932|| Pablo Picasso
'Metamorphoses' by Ovid: Drawings, copper plates, etchings, artist proofs.
|February 1932|| Surrealism
Atget, Bayer, Boiffard, Chirico, Cocteau, Cornell, Dalí, Ernst, Howard, Lynes, Man Ray, Móhóly-Nagy, Parry, Picasso, Roy, Tabard, Umbo, Viollier. 11
|21.03. - 02.04.1932|| Architecture and Interiors
Gropius, Howe, Lescaze, Frank Lloyd Wright (incomplete artist list).
|18.04. - 14.05.1932|| Paintings by Modern American Artists
Ganso, Davis, Karfiol, Kantor, Marsh.
|September 1932|| Ben Shahn
Pictorial Treatment of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case, 23 gouaches.
|October 1932||Photography Show (Soviet Art)|
|November 1932||Stage Sets and Costume Design|
Our sources for the exhibition timelineFor almost each exhibition details, some complete, some incomplete, can be found in
- Weber, Nicolas Fox: 'Patron Saints - Five Rebels Who Opened America to a New Art, 1928-1943', Yale University Press, 1995.
- 'The Harvard Crimson' website, Cambridge, MA.
- 'Lincoln Kirstein - The Published Writings' website, Eakins Press Foundation, New York, NY.
Footnotes - Additional Sources
1 - Catalog text 'Note' [unsigned], page 4, by Lincoln Kirstein.
2 - Catalog text [Notes on the artists, unsigned] by Lincoln Kirstein.
3 - Artists listed in: The Harvard Crimson, 'Art Society Displays American Cartoons - Exhibition by Harvard Society of Contemporary Art Opens Today in Rooms of Organization'; December 6, 1929.
Transcription: Aladjalow > David Low (1891 - 1963), Ding > Jay Darling (1876 - 1962).
4 - Artists listed in: Clark, Garth: 'Cardew in America', Interpreting Ceramics, Issue 3, 2002 (Issue 3 covers Conference Papers & Reports of 'The Michael Cardew Centenary Symposium'; University of Wales, Aberstwyth, UK, 27-28 June 2001)
5 - Artists listed in original Harvard Society catalog.
Modern Mexican Art was shown by A. Everett 'Chick' Austin at Wadsworth Atheneum immediately after Cambridge.
6 - Artists listed in original Harvard Society catalog. Catalog text 'Historical Background' [and notes on the artists; unsigned] by Lincoln Kirstein.
Galerie Ernst Arnold, Dresden, provided the prints for this exhibition.
Modern German Art (1/3), (2/3), and (3/3) was shown by A. Everett 'Chick' Austin at Wadsworth Atheneum immediately after Cambridge from 19.05. – 02.06.1930.
7 - Catalog text 'Introductory Note' [unsigned] by Lincoln Kirstein.
Exhibition title in Weber, Nicolas Fox: 'Patron Saints': Folk Painting of Three Centuries
8 - Artists listed in: Hambourg, Maria Morris, and Phillips, Christopher: 'The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art', 1989, p. 44.
Catalog text 'Introductory Note' [and notes on the photographers; unsigned] by Lincoln Kirstein.
Photography 1930 was shown by A. Everett 'Chick' Austin at Wadsworth Atheneum immediately after Cambridge in December 1930.
9 - Artists listed in original Harvard Society catalog, courtesy: National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund, Washington D.C..
The Bauhaus exhibition was discontinued on Saturday, January 17 [Saturday, January 15] [Source: The Harvard Crimson, 'Exhibition by Picasso will open next week'; Saturday, January 15, 1931]. Public opening of the Picasso exhibition on Friday , January 23. A private exhibition of Picasso pictures will precede the public opening Thursday, January 22].
Catalog text 'Introduction' [and notes on the artists; unsigned] by Lincoln Kirstein.
The Harvard Society Bauhaus exhibition was shown subsequently at John Becker Gallery, 520 Madison Avenue at 53rd Street, New York, Bauhaus - 1919–1923 Weimar / 1924 Dessau, January 20 - February 10, 1931. For the exhibition at John Becker Gallery the Harvard Society Bauhaus catalog was reprinted with the gallery's address on the cover. Lincoln Kirstein's name was given as both the writer of the catalog's text and the designer of the cover (Source: Weber, Nicolas Fox, p. 118].
The third venue of the traveling exhibition was Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany, March 13 - March 28, 1931, The Arts Club of Chicago.
10 - Catalog text 'Introductory Note' [and notes on the artists; unsigned] by Lincoln Kirstein.
Exhibition title in Weber, Nicolas Fox: 'Patron Saints': Modern Art from Britain
11 - Artists listed in: Schaffner, Ingrid and Jacobs, Lisa (editor): 'Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery', The MIT Press, Cambridge 1998, p. 173.
The exhibition was shown before at Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Surréalisme, 09.-29.01.1932