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Collecting as Modernist Practice

Jeremy Braddock

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Winner of the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize of the Modernist Studies Association

In this highly original study, Jeremy Braddock focuses on collective forms of modernist expression—the art collection, the anthology, and the archive—and their importance in the development of institutional and artistic culture in the United States.

Using extensive archival research, Braddock's study synthetically examines the overlooked practices of major American art collectors and literary editors: Albert Barnes, Alain Locke, Duncan Phillips, Alfred Kreymborg, Amy Lowell, Ezra Pound, Katherine Dreier...

Winner of the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize of the Modernist Studies Association

In this highly original study, Jeremy Braddock focuses on collective forms of modernist expression—the art collection, the anthology, and the archive—and their importance in the development of institutional and artistic culture in the United States.

Using extensive archival research, Braddock's study synthetically examines the overlooked practices of major American art collectors and literary editors: Albert Barnes, Alain Locke, Duncan Phillips, Alfred Kreymborg, Amy Lowell, Ezra Pound, Katherine Dreier, and Carl Van Vechten. He reveals the way collections were devised as both models for modernism's future institutionalization and culturally productive objects and aesthetic forms in themselves. Rather than anchoring his study in the familiar figures of the individual poet, artist, and work, Braddock gives us an entirely new account of how modernism was made, one centered on the figure of the collector and the practice of collecting.

Collecting as Modernist Practice demonstrates that modernism's cultural identity was secured not so much through the selection of a canon of significant works as by the development of new practices that shaped the social meaning of art. Braddock has us revisit the contested terrain of modernist culture prior to the dominance of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the university curriculum so that we might consider modernisms that could have been.

Offering the most systematic review to date of the Barnes Foundation, an intellectual genealogy and analysis of The New Negro anthology, and studies of a wide range of hitherto ignored anthologies and archives, Braddock convincingly shows how artistic and literary collections helped define the modernist movement in the United States.

Reviews

Reviews

A book that's going to rewrite what we think about art objects, poems, property, museums, anthologies—and race and modernity and on and on... So comprehensive is it that it will be impossible to ignore.

The final chapter on the institutionalization of modernism in archival collections and rare book libraries is particularly illuminating for the history of librarianship... The breadth of his scholarship, evidenced by the seventy pages dedicated to the index and bibliography, makes this title a critical addition to libraries supporting modern art collections and modern art history programs.

Acute and important... a wide-ranging study based on the unexpected but revealing parallels between the selection of work for poetry anthologies and the acquisition of art for collections during the modernist era.

Braddock's book stands as a towering achievement... Essential.

Collecting as a Modernist Practice not only explains how art is consumed, but it also analyzes how art circulates, not freely, but according to choices made by people who enjoy either power, influence, or fortune. The author not only tells how things happened, but he also links decisions with consequences... Historians of ideas, sociologists of art and culture, and advanced students in cultural studies will surely benefit from this elegant, well-written book.

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Book Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Collections Mediation Modernist
1. After Imagisme
The Lyric Year and the Crisis in Cultural Valuation
The Anthology as Weapon
The Others Formation
Reprisal Anthologies
2. The

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Collections Mediation Modernist
1. After Imagisme
The Lyric Year and the Crisis in Cultural Valuation
The Anthology as Weapon
The Others Formation
Reprisal Anthologies
2. The Domestication of Modernism: The Phillips
Memorial Gallery in the 1920s
Pictorial Publicity
Subconscious Stimulation, a Professional Public Sphere
Problems in Collecting Pictures
Akhenaten, Patron of Modernism
3. The Barnes Foundation, Institution of the New Psychologies
Against Dilettantism
A System for the New Spirit
Collection and Institution
The Art of Memory in the Age of the Unconscious
4. The New Negro in the Field of Collections
Sage Homme Noir
Precursor Anthologies
Coterie, Movement, Race
The Heritage of The New Negro
Downstairs from the Harlem Museum
5. Modernism's Archives: Afterlives of the Modernist Collection
Two Termini
Two Consecrations
Two Archives
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio