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“Of a Kind Hitherto Unknown”: The American Art Association of Paris in 1908
by Emily C. Burns
Fig. 1, Corner View, American Art Association of Paris, Souvenir of the Louisiana Purchase. American Students’ Census, Paris 1903 (n.p.: Printed by Louella B. Mendenhall, 1903): 66. Photograph courtesy of the author.

Scholars have long pointed to 1908 as a watershed year for the development of American modernism because of the revolutionary exhibition of sixty-three paintings by “The Eight” held in February at the Macbeth Gallery in New York. Painters Robert Henri (1865–1929), John Sloan (1871–1951), and six others organized the independent exhibition in reaction to their frustration about the conservative jury selections at the National Academy of Design.[1] While much has been written about this revolutionary gesture and the eclectic exhibition celebrating “artistic freedom, individualism, authenticity, and contemporaneity,” that resulted, art historians have largely overlooked another exhibition of American modernist art that opened in Paris on January 25, 1908 and closed in mid-February.[2] This untitled exhibition was held at the quarters of the American Art Association of Paris (hereafter AAAP), then based at 74 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, near the Boulevard Montparnasse (fig. 1).[3] Featuring twenty-two paintings, three sculptures, and twelve photographs (see Appendix A), the exhibition marked a departure from the club’s preference for academic styles as it featured an eclectic range of aesthetic approaches that included more modernist tendencies.[4]

This essay explores the context and content of the 1908 AAAP exhibition, and argues that the show transformed the association into an important venue for modernist collective exhibitions in the years preceding the Armory Show in 1913.[5] The American artist community in Paris held fast to academic traditions, and this exhibition was one of the first displays of American art in Paris that showed stylistic hints of modernism.[6] While the styles presented in the exhibition do not engage with European modernist trends of the decade, such as Cubism, Fauvism or Expressionism, an emphasis on Impressionism and Tonalism marked a transition for the organization towards a belated modernism. Although the exhibition was aesthetically conservative for 1908, critical reaction in the US press celebrated the experimentation and individuality that the exhibition forwarded. The range of paintings included in the AAAP exhibition highlights the diversity of US artistic practice in Paris in the first decade of the twentieth century; it also offers support for art historian Virginia M. Mecklenburg’s claim that “the most innovative work being done by Americans in the years from about 1907 through 1913 was created in Paris.”[7]

A discussion of this exhibition also offers an opportunity to consider the impact, role, and relations of US artists’ clubs in the foreign capital. The AAAP exhibition specifically challenged the authority of another American artists’ club, the Paris Society of American Painters (PSAP), which was more conservative in its insistence on academic styles. The tensions between these groups reveal fissures within the US artist community in Paris. Like the 1908 exhibition of The Eight, the 1908 exhibition at the AAAP represented a new generation of “younger” artists challenging their elders with works that emphasized artistic individuality and showed new forms of expression. This essay introduces the AAAP and the PSAP, and then considers how an adversarial relationship between the two organizations prompted the January 1908 AAAP exhibition. It also contextualizes the AAAP exhibition as a stepping-stone in the development of American modernism, both in Paris through the construction of another American artists’ club that celebrated artistic individuality, and in New York on the eve of the Armory Show.

The AAAP and the American Artist Community in Paris, 1890–1908
Thousands of American artists studied in Paris in the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. They arrived in increasing numbers with each passing decade until World War I.[8] The first wave of US art students went to Paris in the 1860s, after the American Civil War, and many expatriated, finding successful careers in France and Great Britain.[9] These artists sought academic training at the École des Beaux-Arts, and steadfastly followed its stylistic conventions.[10] By the 1890s, a younger generation of US artists tended to come to Paris for a shorter duration, merely for training purposes. Many of them skirted the bureaucratic process of entry to the École; they favored short-term instruction at the Académie Julian, the Académie Colarossi, or other small académies on the Left Bank of the foreign capital.[11] While these smaller academies tended to follow the academic model of the École with a focus on the nude model and the progression from pencil sketch to oil sketch to layered painting, more experimental atelier spaces opened in the 1890s and early twentieth century, such as the Académie Carmen and the Académie Matisse.[12] Most American painters continued to submit their art to the Paris Salons until World War I, but some artists began to seek out more avant-garde spaces, such as the Salon des Indépendents and the Salon d’Automne.[13]

Study in Paris became a rite of passage for American art students, but working overseas was often fraught with xenophobic reactions to the influx of foreigners in the city, anxieties about the art market and exhibition opportunities, and tense artistic competition.[14] Debates raged about the tariff imposed, from 1883 to 1913, by the United States on imported luxury goods. The tariff initially included works of art that had been produced overseas, regardless of the nationality of the artist. Many artists claimed that paintings by US artists should be brought to the US without tax, regardless of where they had been painted or how long artists had been working overseas. Discussions about expatriation and exemptions from this tariff created hostilities among groups of US artists in Paris, and between Paris-based and United States-based artists.[15] Furthermore, by the end of the century, many US critics began to complain about the Gallic style that American artists embraced. A nativist retrenchment challenged artists abroad to maintain a perceptible national identity in their style and iconography, and these tensions continued to play out as American artists experimented with modernist approaches.[16] Around 1890, several American artists’ clubs were founded to alleviate these anxieties, but while serving this purpose they also heightened divisions within generations of the American artist community in Paris.[17]

At the AAAP founding ceremony in 1890, Whitelaw Reid (1837–1912), the American ambassador to France, emphasized the club’s potential to aid students abroad who “have not forgotten their Americanism.”[18] According to one French observer, the AAAP enabled its members to “remain closed to our influence” even while residing in the foreign capital.[19] In its celebration of cultural nationalism, the club responded to anxieties about the Europeanization of American art. Until the start of World War I, the AAAP was a nexus of US art practice in France, a place where hundreds of American artists met and exhibited under its auspices. Between 1890 and 1922 there were over a thousand members, with the greatest distribution during the first decade of the twentieth century. The AAAP organized at least fifty exhibitions in Paris between 1890 and 1914.[20]

Fig. 2, A.A. Anderson, Experiences and Impressions: The Autobiography of Colonel A.A. Anderson (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1933): frontispiece. Photograph courtesy of the author.

Fig. 3, Ellis, La salle d’exposition, Henri Frantz, “Une colonie d’artistes américains à Paris,” Revue Illustrée, September 15, 1904, clipping, Archives, Musée Rodin, Paris. Photograph courtesy of the author.

Fig. 4, Herbert Faulkner, Venice, ca. 1890s. Oil on canvas. Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury. Photograph from the Mattatuck Museum collection database.

American painter A. A. Anderson (1847–1940; fig. 2) founded the AAAP and served as its president until his return to the United States in 1895, when he was succeeded by Rodman Wanamaker (1863–1928), the son of the Philadelphia department store mogul.[21] Living in Paris while purchasing merchandise for his father’s Philadelphia department store, Wanamaker had been an honorary member since the club’s founding.[22] He may have treated this position as philanthropy to help fledgling artists, as well as an opportunity to scout for art to purchase for his father’s personal collection.[23] The merchant encouraged AAAP members to organize annual exhibitions of the works of American art students, as well as to host regular displays of sketches, posters, and etchings. These shows offered artists at the start of their careers the opportunity to exhibit in Paris whether or not their work would later be admitted to the Salon. Many artists treated these exhibitions as a springboard into the Parisian art world, as both the American and French art papers and magazines published regular exhibition reviews.[24] Under Wanamaker’s lead, the AAAP courted Parisian dealers, such as the famous Paul Durand-Ruel (1831–1922), in whose gallery works by members were exhibited from January 2 to 13, 1900.[25] An anonymous writer in the Quartier Latin, the AAAP journal, mused, “Not only have [these competitive exhibitions] drawn general attention to the sphere which the Association is beginning to fill as a great centre of American art in Europe, but they have stimulated the Association itself to greater activity.”[26]

The AAAP’s art exhibition space, as seen in a photograph of the interior of the site at rue Notre-Dame des Champs in 1904 (fig. 3), was intimate. This typical AAAP exhibition hints at the styles regularly displayed at the club’s annual exhibitions. The walls are triple hung largely with figure paintings and landscapes. Busts by academically trained sculptor Theodore Spicer-Simson (1871–1951) stand on pedestals in the doorway.[27] In the back room, double hung works on paper and smaller sketches are visible. These hanging styles replicated the displays at the Paris Salons in the smaller space of the club quarters, which were, according to one viewer, “spacious and well-lit.”[28] Two of Herbert Waldron Faulkner’s (1860–1940) atmospheric paintings of Venice, probably akin to his undated Venice (fig. 4), were included in this exhibition. According to a French reviewer, Faulkner was “one of the masters of the group” who regularly exhibited at the AAAP.[29] As did many other members of the AAAP, Faulkner produced art that historians have stylistically defined as the juste milieu, or within the academic tradition but selectively appropriating more avant-garde styles only after they had become absorbed into popular taste.[30] The AAAP generally held conservative attachments to the academic process; AAAP sketch exhibitions, for example, often displayed academic studies from the ateliers, some of which were reproduced in the Quartier Latin. Club organizers sought to encourage US art practice in Paris, but in addition to combating xenophobia in the French academy with their insular exhibitions for club members, also confronted another American artists’ organization in Paris known as the Paris Society of American Painters.

“To See that American Works Receive Proper Attention:” The Paris Society of American Painters
The PSAP was an artist organization comprised of the old guard of American expatriate artists, who had been academically trained in Paris in the 1860s and who began to exhibit collectively between 1890 and 1894.[31] Their practices of jointly controlling exhibition content began in 1889, but the organization did not write its bylaws until 1897.[32] The club was open by nomination and election to “any professional American painter residing in France,” but newspaper reports suggest that the group was deliberately kept small and exclusive.[33]

Fig. 5, William Turner Dannat, The Quartette, 1884. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo:

Fig. 6, Edwin Lord Weeks, Indian Barbers—Saharanpore, ca. 1895. Oil on canvas. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. Photo:

The PSAP core membership included John White Alexander (1856–1915), Henry Singlewood Bisbing (1849–1933), Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1847–1928), William Turner Dannat (1853–1929), Walter Gay (1856–1937), Alexander Harrison (1853–1930), John Humphreys-Johnston (1857–1941), Walter MacEwen (1860–1943), Gari Melchers (1860–1932), Charles Sprague Pearce (1851–1914), Julius L. Stewart (1855–1919), Julian Story (1858–1919), and Edwin Lord Weeks (1849–1903). Dannat served as president for much of the club’s history. The artist achieved acclaim in the 1880s with La Femme en Rouge (1889; Musée d’Orsay) and The Quartette (fig. 5), two tightly painted scenes, which, when shown in the American Galleries at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889, were hailed as an example of an American artist’s mastery of French academic styles.[34]

True to the academic training that most of them had received, PSAP members favored a conservatism in style and subject matter. Member artists continued to produce academic paintings throughout the early twentieth century without acknowledging modernist artistic trends. For example, Weeks’s Indian Barbers—Saharanpore (fig. 6), which was exhibited in the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris, is an Orientalist genre scene in which a number of Indian street barbers carry out their trade against the backdrop of a crowded street. The painting is striking for its composition, showing a series of groupings of barber and client beginning in the right foreground and diagonally receding into the background. With its academic brushstroke and insistent compositional structure, the painting does not register any engagement with Impressionism or Symbolism, let alone the more modernist Post-Impressionist styles that developed in fin-de-siècle Paris. Like most paintings by the members of the PSAP, Weeks’s painting depicts a non-American, “foreign” subject. The preference of the group for French peasants and Europe’s colonial subjects became a cause of criticism in France and the United States around 1900, when critics like Ellis Clarke wrote disparagingly about art that does “not exemplify American spirit or reflect American life” and that is “little more than French art with American trimmings.”[35] Clarke and other critics encouraged American artists to focus on subjects that drew from the United States and to seek out alternatives to the academic artistic language that furthered the hegemony of the French academy.

The PSAP headquarters were located on the place Pigalle in Montmartre, far from the rest of the American artist community in the Latin Quarter. Most of the PSAP artists worked in well-furnished studios that contrasted sharply with the unadorned garrets commonly used by artists on the Left Bank.[36] Throughout the early twentieth century, PSAP artists exhibited in the Salons of the Société des Artistes Français and of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and in the Paris salonnets, which were private clubs that offered short-term monographic exhibitions for the display and sale of academic art.[37] Members also used the organization to show their paintings in major international exhibitions across Europe. As Story recounted in 1896, “It was and is our object to see that American works receive proper attention at the various art exhibitions.”[38] PSAP members would write to exhibition organizers directly to request the opportunity of constructing American art displays. Generally, organizers welcomed the opportunity as it allowed them to avoid going through American governmental channels, skirting a good deal of bureaucratic busy-work.[39] By 1901, the press observed that the PSAP “practically controls the American exhibits at the continental picture shows.”[40]

Against a “Petrified Body”: The AAAP and the PSAP
While The Eight challenged the National Academy of Design’s stringent exhibition admission standards, the simultaneous revolution that took place in Paris at the headquarters of the AAAP targeted the PSAP. The groups’ distinct constituencies created animosity and rivalry between them. In contrast with the PSAP’s elite expatriate focus, the AAAP centered on supporting young US artists as it reached out to the estimated fifteen-hundred male American art students based in Paris. The AAAP was more inclusive than the PSAP—the former had over 500 members in 1897, compared with the latter’s 18. Because PSAP artists lived in Paris indefinitely, the AAAP claimed to protect artists’ nationalism while they studied abroad in a temporary capacity. They celebrated artists who, according to one critic, “made use of Paris, instead of permitting Paris to make use of them.”[41]

American artists and critics in both Paris and New York levied a wide range of complaints at the PSAP members between its founding and the 1908 AAAP exhibition. Artists on the Art Committee for the Exposition Universelle of 1889 who became involved with the PSAP, particularly Bridgman, Knight, Harrison, and Hitchcock, orchestrated the separation of the US art exhibit between art by American artists living in France, and those submitting work from the United States.[42] This division bifurcated the American artist community between those who embraced the cosmopolitan approach inculcated in Paris, and those who espoused nativist trends. The Exposition jury was largely comprised of future PSAP members as well. Reviewers, such as British critic Theodore Child, focused much more on paintings in the American expatriate art galleries at the Exposition than on the works of US-based painters, inciting conversations among critics that US art had become too “Gallic.”[43] As French critic André Michel wrote, “What is a little wanting in this American Exhibition is native painting on native subjects.”[44] Concerns about the excessive “Frenchness” of American art reverberated throughout the American artist community in Paris until the start of World War I, but the PSAP ignored them.

The PSAP’s ubiquitous control of US participation in international exhibitions made them, according to one detractor, “the arbiter of American art abroad.”[45] As in 1889, PSAP members were influential in constructing the American exhibition of the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 by negotiating with the official organizers.[46] For this large, publicized, and important Exposition, the PSAP ran into conflict with the US organizing committee. The PSAP was so manipulative in its involvement that John Britton Cauldwell (1855–1932), Director of the Planning Commission for the Exposition, wrote to Assistant Director Charles Kurtz (1855–1909) that he worried the PSAP were “making some supreme effort to control the space or obtain [a] separate pavilion.” He warned Kurtz “to keep a sharp look out and unfathom any secret plans that they might have.”[47] While in 1900 the US galleries were integrated between expatriate and US-based artists, paintings like Weeks’s Indian Barbers—Saharanpore (fig. 6), garnered attention for its grasp of French academic technique and its embrace of Orientalism.

Many artists complained about the PSAP members’ lack of cooperation with the wider US artist community.[48] When the PSAP did not have enough available paintings to submit to international exhibitions in Budapest (1904), Vienna (1905), or Munich (1905) because they were committed elsewhere, the group did not encourage other artists to take their place; instead, the United States was not represented in these shows.[49] A critic from the Philadelphia Inquirer published complaints about “the high-handed methods in vogue among the members” of the PSAP. According to this critic, “things Parisian are not received here among artistic people with the same unquestioning faith” as in the past and “the tide has turned toward things purely American.”[50] As the Society continued to designate conservative paintings for exhibition in Europe, member artists were censured as outmoded in style. The PSAP’s tight control on exhibition spaces and its focus on academic methods and scenes of French peasantry became out of step with shifts in US art and the rise of cultural nationalism.

The PSAP came under fire for its singular focus on marketing members’ work as well as for its position in the art tariff debate, which caused complaints of self-interestedness.[51] PSAP members successfully lobbied to alter the tariff law to their advantage; earlier laws had allowed a tariff exemption for artists who lived abroad “temporarily,” for a maximum of five years, but the elimination of this policy in 1899 allowed the paintings of PSAP artists, all of whom had lived in Paris for decades, to travel freely to the United States.[52] Meanwhile, art by French and other foreign artists was levied at entry to the United States to purportedly nurture US-based artists. Many American artists complained that the unnecessary tariff meant that foreign artists would boycott US art and industry overseas.[53] Others insisted that international models were needed as didactic tools for US art students who could not afford to travel overseas.[54] Therefore, many US-based artists lobbied to abolish the tariff altogether. After the PSAP members manipulated the law to their advantage, however, they were no longer invested in the debate. A lobbying group of artists asked the PSAP to sign a petition against the tariff in 1906 and 1907, and newspapers complained that none of the PSAP agreed.[55] Throughout the early twentieth century, US-based and non-PSAP Paris-based artists complained that PSAP members prioritized their own professional and financial interests over national ones and at the expense of non-member artists.[56]

A divide is apparent between the PSAP’s stated policy that they annually recruited junior artists, and the reality of their exclusive membership. One newspaper noted that the organization regularly considered “the pictures of the younger American painters in Paris” to keep track of the professionalization of US artists abroad. The article continued, “when it is found that any artist has attained to such maturity that his works may be depended upon to be of sufficient merit to sustain a good reputation of American art, he is proposed for membership in the society.”[57] Yet, no committee charged with recruitment of junior members is listed in the different versions of the PSAP constitution. Furthermore, between the 1890s and early twentieth century, PSAP membership remained largely stagnant, suggesting that the artists had been reticent to expand their membership. After the 1908 AAAP exhibition, however, the PSAP initiated such recruitment.[58]

In late 1907, grumbles resurfaced within the walls of the AAAP about the long-standing hegemony of the PSAP in the international art world. The New York Times quoted from the rising complaints: “Not more than three or four members of that petrified body are doing anything for the cause of American art. In fact, very few of them continue to paint. In the course of years it has become a purely political organization, holding a monopoly of official recognition.” These critics protested the Paris Society’s “closed corporation” and its “monopoly” on art awards through what reporters sardonically titled a “Decoration Trust.”[59] This discussion splintered the American artist community in Paris into factions that divided the established expatriate artists from the junior generation.

The growing AAAP membership put pressure on the PSAP; one critic wrote that the AAAP is “crowding the members of the older society very hard,” but another complained that the growing influence of the younger generation was not yet effective: “In spite of its efforts, the smaller and older body remains a blighting influence upon the younger Americans studying or working in the French capital.”[60] The incidents that continued to arise in which the PSAP acted out of self-interest perpetuated unrest in the US artist community in Paris. AAAP members hotly debated exhibition opportunities and choices of artistic style, leading some artists to attempt to counter the domination of the PSAP.

In November of 1907, the AAAP followed the course of The Eight in New York, who had announced in May of 1907 that they would organize their own exhibition at Macbeth Gallery the following winter.[61] In their complaints to newspaper reporters about the PSAP’s stronghold on international exhibitions, the AAAP expressed their goal “to combat this ancient tradition, which has given rise to much bitterness in the American art colony in Paris for years past.”[62] The Philadelphia Inquirer stated, “The American Art Association, in Paris, which numbers amongst its members all the younger American painters and sculptors in Paris, has declared war on that club called the Society of American Painters in Paris.”[63] The New York Times reported, “the younger American artists in Paris have decided that this ancient injustice must end.” The AAAP, the writer continued, was “quietly organizing the greatest exhibition ever given in the history of that organization,” an intimate selection of “the best recent works of its most gifted members.”[64] The American Art News reported that this “wide-awake society” would “give, condensed in a few paintings, a fair idea of the qualities developed by young American artists in the course of the last few years.”[65] Furthermore, the press concluded that the exhibition would show “that in the [AAAP] alone is to be found representative American talent abroad.”[66]

“The Birth of a New School”: The AAAP Exhibition in January 1908
Like The Eight’s combination of eclectic artistic modes of expression and insistence upon an inclusionary model of exhibition, the AAAP’s January 1908 exhibition displayed a range of artistic styles including American Impressionism and Tonalism, as well as objects that tentatively approached abstraction.[67] AAAP shows were usually the product of a jury selection of works submitted by club members, but for this new exhibition, the AAAP art committee sent out “special invitations” to artists requesting their participation.[68] Contemporaries noted that the curating of this special exhibition offered more of an argument for viewers about “the development of American art” with “a unity of effect and an identity of purpose.”[69] When Ellis Clarke complained about the “alien element in American art” in 1901, he discouraged artists from “renounc[ing] individuality.”[70] The AAAP organizers picked up on Clarke’s thread in their attempt to highlight the individual visions of the participating artists. While many of these styles and subjects still drew from French art and landscapes, US critics insisted that the artists possessed individual stylistic preferences that indicated their ultimate independence from those influences. In this, the exhibition eschewed the academic conventions that gained credence through collective acceptance in the PSAP and the AAAP to date, in favor of a strident individualism. Its catalogue (Appendix A), which does not include a title or follow the typical format of AAAP exhibition catalogues, announced the included objects.[71]

Fig. 7, Daniel Putnam Brinley, Daisy Field (Silvermine), 1909. Oil on canvas. Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme. Photo:

Fig. 8, George Oberteuffer, Place de la Madeleine (Paris), n.d. Oil on canvas. Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Amherst. Photo:

Fig. 9, Frederick Frieseke, Reflections (Marcelle), before 1909. Oil on canvas. Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah. Photo:

Fig. 10, Albert Worcester, Nude, 1905. Oil on canvas. Current location unknown. Salon Catalogue (Paris: Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1905): 46. Photo:

Fig. 11, Theodore Scott Dabo, The River Seine, 1905. Oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit. Photo:

Fig. 12, Edward Steichen, Moonlit Landscape, 1903. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Photo:

Fig. 13, John Marin, Mills and Footbridge, Meaux, 1908. Watercolor and graphite on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo:

Fig. 14, Edward Steichen, Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz Holding a Copy of the Journal Camera Work, 1907. Autochrome. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo:

Fig. 15, Edward Steichen, On the House Boat—‘the Log Cabin,’ 1908. Autochrome. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis. Photo:

Fig. 16, Jo Davidson, Gertrude Stein, ca. 1920–22. Bronze. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo:

Fig. 17, Mahonri MacKintosh Young, The Shoveler, 1902–03 (posthumous cast). Bronze. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo. Photo:

In the AAAP January 1908 show, American Impressionism was featured in the paintings of Daniel Putnam Brinley (1879–1963), George Oberteuffer (1878–1940), Frederick Frieseke (1874–1939), and Albert Worcester (1878–1935). Although Impressionism was old hat to the Parisian avant-garde, in 1908, it was still considered radical in the United States, causing one American critic to remark that in Paris young American artists were “making strides as yet unimagined in America.”[72] Based on the catalogue, which is among his papers, Brinley exhibited two landscapes, Early Morning on the Arno and Sunlit Garden. Neither work has been located, but they probably shared an affinity with the Impressionist style of Daisy Field (Silvermine) of 1909 (fig. 7), which appeared in the Armory Show five years later.[73] This painting depicts Brinley’s predilection for bright, saturated color and thick facture.

Oberteuffer exhibited two landscapes, one entitled Old Havre, and the other The Port Moonlight, “a very decorative impression of boats in a moonlit harbor.”[74] While these landscapes have not been identified either, Oberteuffer’s style of this period is exemplified in his loosely-dashed brushwork in Place de la Madeleine (Paris) (fig. 8).[75] In 1911, critic E. A. Taylor described Oberteuffer’s paintings of French subjects as indicative of the artist’s singular vision, when he wrote, “first and foremost he is a colourist and technically his work is virile and spontaneous. He sees with his own eyes, and what he sees he interprets with a strong belief.”[76] Taylor also praised the work of American Impressionist Frieseke, who was one of the second generation of American painters at Giverny and who had exhibited at least annually with the AAAP since 1900. In the January 1908 AAAP exhibition, Frieseke included “two very characteristic pictures”: Interior and a painting entitled The Model.[77] These paintings have not been located but a reviewer described them as “interiors with figures which are right in tone and clever in handling.”[78] Frieseke’s typical style of this period is exemplified by Reflections (Marcelle) (fig. 9) of about 1909, in which a nude woman contemplates her form in a mirror within a purple-white interior.

Worcester also exhibited a Nude, in addition to a painting entitled Girl with Fan.[79] The latter painting has not been located, but Nude may have been the work that was successfully received at (and reproduced in the catalog of) the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1905 (fig. 10). In Frieseke’s and Worcester’s depictions of the nude, the artists employ loose brushstrokes, bright colors, and impasto to the background setting, but maintain the integral structure of the human body. Their combination of Impressionist and academic approaches within the same painting suggests their moderated engagement with modernist styles.

The AAAP exhibition also featured Whistlerian Tonalist paintings with diluted pigments and little impasto.[80] Theodore Scott Dabo (1865–1928) presented Winter Morning – Honfleur and Summer Evening.[81] These paintings, the whereabouts of which are unknown, were probably akin to The River Seine of about 1905 (fig. 11), which critic Amelia Von Ende (1856–1932) described as “plein d’air [or] full of air, which means atmosphere, light, life.”[82] Dabo’s painting, like the style of his brother Leon (1864–1960), combines monochromatic green washes to create a misty view of trees across the Seine. Edward Steichen (1879–1973), who had exhibited at the AAAP earlier in the decade, was represented by two paintings, both simply entitled Landscape.[83] These paintings were probably in the Tonalist mode that is seen in the suffused moonlight scenes that Steichen produced during this period, such as Moonlit Landscape (fig. 12).[84]

A few artists included in the AAAP exhibition also drew from Impressionist approaches, but employed a freer expressive brushstroke and allowed for unpainted areas that flattened and drew attention to the surface. John Marin (1870–1953) contributed two such watercolors.[85] He submitted a painting called Charenton (presently unlocated), a view of a town along the Seine to the southeast of Paris, and another entitled Footbridge - Meaux, set in a town to the north of Paris. The latter work was probably one of a series of watercolors of Meaux typified by an extant painting, Mills and Footbridge, Meaux, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (fig. 13).[86] While Marin displays an Impressionist-inspired interest in depicting a moment, these watercolors also indicate, according to one scholar, “the abstract potential of late nineteenth-century aestheticism” in which the artist “eliminated any spatial illusionism, creating essentially a flat, decorative arrangement.”[87] In Mills and Footbridge, Meaux, the sky and water are flattened into a single plane, and while the colors are mimetic, his brushwork is reductive instead of built up with the impasto of Impressionism. His quick strokes, especially in the dark gray on the bridge and in the reflections on the water, verge on expressionism. Marin combines aspects of Impressionism and Tonalism in these experiments. Latvian-born artist Maurice Sterne (1878–1957), who exhibited two unknown landscapes at the AAAP with “an agreeable line composition,” was also associated with Post-Impressionism.[88]

The 1908 AAAP exhibition was also the first at the club to feature photography. In addition to landscape paintings, Steichen also exhibited twelve photographs, including eight original autochromes and four reproductions of autochromes that he had published in Camera Work.[89] Steichen had been experimenting with the new color process that was announced in Paris by the Lumière brothers in June 1907. His displays included autochromes of Rodin with his sculpture of Eve and of Stieglitz holding an issue of Camera Work (fig. 14), in which the fleshtones of Stieglitz’s face and hands stand out against the darkness of his suit. His portraits of George Bernard Shaw, whom he celebrated for his role in revealing “the unmechanicalness of photography,” and of Lady Ian Hamilton, both made in London, emphasize the power of the new medium to capture vibrant color.[90] In On the House Boat – “the Log Cabin, Steichen included George Davidson (1854–1940), a managing director of Kodak, and three other figures in a setting constructed to appear anecdotal (fig. 15). Though fairly traditional portraits, Steichen’s contributions show an insistence on the newest techniques and a focus on coloration. In On the House Boat, for example, the maroon and pink hats reverberate with bright color. Stieglitz explained in a letter to the editor of the London magazine Photography that Steichen’s London autochrome experiments “are artistically far in advance of anything he had to show you.”[91] In Stieglitz’s celebration of the autochrome based on Steichen’s examples, he announced, “soon the world will be color-mad.”[92] The New York Times also celebrated this “remarkable series of photographs in colors of a richness in tone hitherto unachieved in Europe.”[93]

The AAAP exhibition also featured modernist sculpture. Jo Davidson (1883–1952), who was known for busts and small statuettes such as the one of Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (fig. 16), submitted a sculptural portrait (whereabouts unknown) of Alfred Maurer (1868–1932), an American modernist who was not included in the exhibition, though he was active within this coterie of artists in Paris and at the AAAP.[94] The New York Herald described the portrait as “excellent in character.”[95] Mahonri MacKintosh Young (1877–1957) was represented by a “statuette,” perhaps one of his small sculpted figures of laborers, such as The Shoveler (fig. 17). The grandson of Brigham Young, the sculptor had studied at the Académie Julian and had participated in AAAP exhibitions at least since 1904.[96]

A few additional artists may have been originally slotted for inclusion in the AAAP’s January 1908 exhibition, including Maurer, Patrick Henry Bruce (1880–1936), and Max Weber (1881–1961); though not included in the catalogue, a notice that appeared in the American Art News listed these three painters alongside the exhibiting artists.[97] Not all of the artists who exhibited their works in the AAAP’s show are still known today. Maximilian Fisher was represented by two paintings entitled On the Balcony – Study and On the Great Atlantic, but all that I have been able to ascribe to his hand are advertisements in L’Illustration in 1911 and 1912 for the French corset company Persephone. The art nouveau style of these advertisements is similar to some of the illustrations that AAAP members printed in the club journal, the Quartier Latin, which was published between 1896 and 1899. Richard Duffy, who submitted a sculpture entitled Mask, is completely unknown today, as is the American Impressionist painter J. E. Kunz, who submitted Flower Study and Snow Effect and who had exhibited at the AAAP several times between 1904 and 1908.[98] Robert J. Coady, who became a New York dealer and art editor of the New York-based modernist magazine the Soil in 1916, submitted two paintings to this AAAP exhibition, entitled Brighton Beach and En Scene. Though Coady’s paintings are lost, his articles in the Soil suggest a fervent belief in an “American art” that is “young, robust, energetic, naïve, immature, daring and big spirited.”[99] By the second decade of the twentieth century, Coady became an outspoken commentator who celebrated a nativist belief in the potential of US art to shed European influence.

A tension exists between the content of the show, which privileged well-known styles like Impressionism and Tonalism, and the critical response in the US press that declared it a trail-blazing modernist intervention. Coady and other US reviewers of the AAAP exhibition characterized the display as unique and nationally-determined in the midst of the Paris art world. In an article proudly titled “Start New School in Art,” an unidentified reviewer from the New York Times emphasized, “All the pictures exhibited, in impression and style, are of a kind hitherto unknown in Paris.”[100] With statements like this, critics overlooked the presence of French iconography and the belated embrace of styles that had developed in the 1890s or before and had already been surpassed by more avant-garde styles by French and other immigrant artists. This Paris-based reviewer seems to be comparing the AAAP show with the overall conservative and academic character of US art exhibited in Paris at the traditional Salons, circulated by the PSAP, and usually on view at AAAP exhibitions.

Fig. 18, Constantin Meunier, Puddler, 1884–88. Bronze. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels. Photo:

While this exhibition was conservative in relation to the art on view in the same year at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, it marked a transition in the character of American art in Paris, exemplified by the juste milieu style of Faulkner (fig. 4), and the academic processes of Dannat (fig. 5) and Weeks (fig. 6). In making claims about the uniqueness of the AAAP display, reviewers also overlooked the art’s stylistic resonances with European modernism; they ignored, for example, links between Young and Belgian artist Constantin Meunier (1831–1905), who also made representations of laborers such as Puddler (fig. 18), which shares a similar exaggerated musculature with Young’s Shoveler (fig. 17).[101] Similarly, critics did not mention the visual resonances of the American Impressionist paintings by Brinley and Frieseke with the art of Claude Monet (1840–1926) or French Impressionism. In spite of the apparent stylistic convergence with European art in the styles on display, the New York Times concluded that it was an “exhibition of unusual importance” and announced “the birth of a new school.”[102]

While the US press responded to the AAAP exhibition in detail, the French press was remarkably silent about it, suggesting that more American than French visitors were in attendance.[103] The US celebration of the exhibition likely drew more from its avant-garde gesture in rejection of the stronghold of the PSAP than from the objects it featured. Furthermore, the eclectic selection of objects tapped into ideas about artistic individualism; the 1908 AAAP show was marked by the stylistic variety seen in the works on display, which ranged from Impressionism and Tonalism to a tentative expressionism. While many of the styles were not necessarily original, when the works of art were exhibited together, each submission seemed singular when compared to the others. This individuality of vision highlighted the contingent possibilities of artistic production that viewers registered as a collective rejection of the influence of academic art in favor of unique personalities. Nativist critic Hamlin Garland (1860–1940) often celebrated American Impressionism because, he argued, “almost everywhere it is finding individual expression.” Garland celebrated diversity in that even as American artists were interested in the stylistic “principles” of European modernism, they “all have a different touch—they are gaining mastery of an individual technique.”[104] Critics in 1908 applied the same idea to the AAAP exhibition; it was as diverse as The Eight’s show, if not more so, with its pairing of Brinley’s vibrant colors (fig. 7) with Steichen’s moody landscapes (fig. 12) and its combination of new photographic processes, painting, and sculpture. US critics interpreted the diversity and pluralism as a mark of shedding links with both the PSAP and traditional artistic conventions in the foreign capital.

Stepping-Stones to American Modernism: Reverberations in Paris and New York
Although the AAAP organized and supported the exhibition, it incited controversy between the club members and its financial supporters. Under Wanamaker’s presidency, the AAAP board was expanded to include some of the most prominent US businessmen in Paris, many of whom saw their involvement in the organization as a patriotic philanthropy.[105] The club’s Board of Governors preferred academic art and objected to the rising modernist trends perceived in the works in the exhibition. The board sought to restrict similar projects. In reaction to the board’s intervention, the AAAP Art Committee for the more traditional annual mid-winter exhibition in February went on strike to protest such “unwarranted interference.”[106] In the absence of the committee, the paintings were hung haphazardly and many of the artists removed their works from the exhibition, leading to a “comparatively small”[107] show that was, according to one reviewer, “not very important.”[108]

By May, the Art Committee was repopulated with artists who possessed stylistic preferences that mimicked the range shown at the January AAAP exhibition.[109] New AAAP Art Committee members included Robert Lee MacCameron (1866–1912), who produced academic portraits; Maurer, who worked in a modernist manner, influenced by Fauvism and Cubism; Arthur Garfield Learned (1872–1959), who was known for his etchings and paintings of a juste milieu style akin to that of Faulkner (fig. 4); and George Henry Leonard Jr. (1869–1928), noted for his impressionist approach.[110] That this committee reflected the eclectic nature of the January AAAP exhibition suggests that the member artists reasserted their authority even in the face of the board. Wanamaker took a short leave from his role as president shortly thereafter, which may have been connected with the controversy between the board and the artist members.[111] This greater diversity on the committee opened later AAAP exhibitions to a larger range of artistic styles.

Fig. 19, Maurius de Zayas, Illustration for “Where the Latin Quarter Trilbies Gather; the Domeless Dome of Paris,” The World Magazine, November 27, 1910. Photograph courtesy of Meredith Ward, New York.

Caricatures of American artists in Paris by Maurius de Zayas (1880–1961) from the years immediately preceding the outbreak of World War I imply that the social community became significantly less polarized by aesthetic preferences than it had been in the 1890s when tensions between the AAAP and the PSAP ran high. In one illustration for a 1910 article about Americans in the Latin Quarter (fig. 19), de Zayas depicted modernists Marin, Steichen, and Arthur Carles (1882–1952), alongside Impressionist Frieseke and more academic portraitist MacCameron, at a poker table in the Café du Dome.[112] De Zayas’s illustration implies a greater fluidity of the social network among artists who adopted distinct artistic styles in early-twentieth century Paris than in the divisions between the AAAP and the PSAP memberships, who interacted only irregularly.

The success of the January 1908 AAAP exhibition encouraged its invited artists, along with other artists in their circle who were not featured in the show, including Maurer, Weber, Bruce, and MacLaughlan, to create a new artists’ organization, which they called the New Society of American Artists in Paris (hereafter NSAAP), in continued challenge to the PSAP.[113] (For a list of NSAAP members, see Appendix B.) Eight of the founding members were included in the January 1908 AAAP exhibition. The controversies that followed that exhibition may have suggested to its most experimental artists that they needed a separate organization to support their work. The AAAP’s large membership of diverse artists may also have inspired this group to create a smaller modernist collective. On February 25, 1908, Steichen hosted a meeting in his studio, just around the corner from the AAAP, to designate the NSAAP as a “full-fledged secessionist movement”[114] in an attempt to “pry the old society [the PSAP] from its position as the arbiter of American art abroad.”[115] Steichen recalled that the impetus to form the NSAAP was opposition to the PSAP “whose work has not developed beyond that of early Impressionism.” He complained that the PSAP “vigorously excluded all the younger and bolder painters from their exhibition.” He said that “after several more meetings we announced in the Paris edition of the New York ‘Herald’ and cables to the New York edition” the formation of a new society.[116]

NSAAP members set an immediate goal to intervene in PSAP plans for the US display at an international exhibition in Vienna in 1908.[117] Brinley wrote to his sister on March 3, 1908, “The Quarter is much excited over ‘The New Society of American Painters.’ It is certainly making a stir. Put [Brinley], with other members will have pictures exhibited in Vienna next spring!”[118] While Brinley’s biographers note that this plan did not come to fruition, the PSAP did broaden its membership for the first time in about ten years.[119] Frieseke, Maurer, Theodore Butler (1861–1936), and several other painters were invited to join the PSAP between 1908 and 1910.[120] Not only did this new membership increase PSAP numbers, but it also expanded the stylistic preferences accepted by the organization.

Like The Eight and the organizing committee of the AAAP January 1908 exhibition, the NSAAP did not dictate a homogenous artistic style. Newspapers published press releases that stated that any US artist in Paris could submit work to the NSAAP advisory board of Brinley, MacLaughlan, Maurer, Steichen, and Weber for consideration for admission to the organization.[121] Though this process ironically recycled the type of PSAP policies that the American artist community in Paris vilified, the NSAAP claimed to offer an “absolutely democratic” structure that replaced the hierarchy of membership positions with an “advisory board.”[122] Like The Eight and the organizers of the AAAP January 1908 exhibition, the NSAAP stated the need for collective exhibitions to celebrate the broad individuality of artistic styles, rather than following traditional conventions.[123] Also, unlike the PSAP it sought to upend, the NSAAP placed a greater emphasis on the medium of sculpture, even in their title that replaced “Painters” with the more inclusive term of “Artists.”

Many older US artists were not impressed with the formation of the NSAAP, which they saw as a petty ploy to “secure prizes.”[124] Long-time PSAP member Melchers “declined to discuss the matter in any way” but then was quoted: “Personally . . . it makes no difference to me how many societies of Americans are formed in Paris. . . . I have found always that it pays to say nothing in such cases.”[125] An anonymous artist wrote from New York to complain that the only artists in the secession he had ever heard of were Steichen and Maurer, and intimated that the other, unknown artists were merely trying to skip the “twenty and thirty years” that the elder artists had contributed to art-making in Paris to reach their privileged position.[126] Illustrator Louis Loeb (1866–1909) sided with the PSAP, insisting that the organization was a harmless dining club, which took on “considerable responsibility” and the “thankless task” of ensuring that the US presence at international exhibitions was appropriately strong.[127] Painter Albert Sterner (1863–1946) explained that without a consistent style, the so-called secession of the NSAAP would be nothing more than “amusing.” Sterner also argued that the group could never make a contribution to American art because they were Paris-based; he wrote, “there will never be a successful American art movement which does not originate in America. You cannot take an organization of painters representing one nation, but living in some other country, and produce anything distinctive in the way of achievement.”[128] Henry Watrous (1841–1918), a conservative painter in the National Academy of Design, was even more irked; he declared, “It’s simply the old story of the young kicking the old.”[129]

Perhaps its detractors anticipated that the NSAAP would be a short-lived venture; both the PSAP and the AAAP outlived it. The PSAP was still active in 1921, with Dannat as the continued president.[130] AAAP activities slowed during World War I, but expanded after the war and continued to host exhibitions throughout the 1920s.[131] Yet, the NSAAP’s demise by 1912 suggests that the need for venues to exhibit modern art had been met.[132] Furthermore, by this period, New York increasingly supplanted Paris as a center for modernist experimentation.[133] Most NSAAP members had returned to the United States by 1910, and many of them became important figures in the American avant-garde.[134]

The AAAP’s January 1908 exhibition and the organization of the NSAAP played an important role in the early careers of many of its participants and was a stepping-stone in the development of American modernism. A thread can be drawn through the AAAP’s exhibition and the NSAAP to the Younger American Painters exhibition of 1910 and the Armory Show of 1913. Several of the artists who exhibited at the AAAP’s special exhibition and founded the NSAAP showed at Stieglitz’s New York gallery 291, in solo exhibitions, and in Younger American Painters.[135] Art historian Virginia Mecklenburg suggested that the pluralistic membership of the NSAAP—including Marin, Brinley, Maurer, Weber, and Steichen—inspired the concept of exploring American artists’ engagements with European avant-garde art.[136] NSAAP members formed the core of Stieglitz’s exhibition. The exhibition title echoes the language around the challenge to the PSAP; for example, in 1907 the New York Times had announced, “the younger American artists in Paris have decided that this ancient injustice must end.”[137] This concept of the “younger” generation framed the critical discourse around these modernist exhibitions, including the Armory Show, and was used as a euphemism for artists’ rejection of tradition.[138]

Many of the January 1908 AAAP exhibitors and the NSAAP members exhibited in the Armory Show in 1913. The idea of an artist corporation carried over in the construction of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS), which organized the Armory Show.[139] Brinley served on the Domestic Arts Committee, which was responsible for organizing the US display.[140] When AAPS members came to Paris to petition French participation in the international exhibition, they also encouraged Davidson, Maurer, and Bruce, the only three NSAAP members remaining in Paris, to submit their work.[141] Artists who showed in the January 1908 AAAP exhibition and the Armory Show included Brinley, Marin, Duffy, Davidson, and Young. NSAAP members represented in the Armory Show included Bruce and Maurer as well. Both the AAAP and the NSAPP highlighted developments in American sculpture, which was also a priority of AAPS members in curating the Armory Show.[142] These organizations also shared an interest in educating the audience about the rise of modernism. While the AAAP exhibition was intended to “show the development of American Art,” AAPS members requested that artists submit their “most advanced work.”[143] At their founding, the NSAAP announced that their organization would play a didactic role in educating “the American public” in modern art.[144] In this goal, the NSAAP anticipated the ambitions of the Armory Show.[145] In their didactic goals, both exhibitions were designed to show viewers artistic progress through carefully curated selections of contemporary art.

Fig. 20, John Marin, St. Paul’s, Lower Manhattan (Broadway, St. Paul’s Church), 1912. Watercolor on paper. Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington. Photo:

Some of the artists who exhibited in the AAAP exhibition in January 1908 further developed their styles in the succeeding years towards a greater expressive and experimental modernism. Marin, for example, exhibited at the Armory Show a watercolor series of Lower Manhattan that included the Woolworth Building and St. Paul’s, Lower Manhattan (Broadway, St. Paul’s Church) (fig. 20) that extended his studies in blue and gray at Meaux (fig. 13) toward a more frenetic, suggestive, and minimalist depiction of his New York subject.[146] In his New York studies, the artist developed the expressive character of the watercolor medium, further eschewing Impressionist and Tonalist models that tentatively appeared in the Paris paintings. In its encouragement of individual styles, the AAAP exhibition became a springboard for further modernist experimentation for some of its exhibiting artists.

The AAAP exhibition reveals the complexities of art practice within the United States-Paris art world through the central role of arts organizations. The exhibition also suggests that even as New York was increasingly seen as a modernist epicenter for art making, Paris still functioned as a crucial site for the development of American modernism in the early twentieth century. Though the works displayed at the AAAP’s January 1908 exhibition may seem largely tame compared with other modernist innovations in Paris that preceded them, including Fauvism and Cubism, they mark a shift in the aesthetics emphasized in the US artist community in Paris from academic to eclectic. A writer for the European edition of the New York Herald explained that the AAAP exhibition and the NSAAP showed that “many American artists are taking the road of all that is modern in art.”[147] This exhibition exemplified US artists’ growing interest in the rejection of academic conventions in favor of artistic experimentation. At the very least, it celebrated eclecticism, as American artists hinted at—or, as Mecklenburg writes of the Armory Show—“slouched toward the idea of modern art in America.”[148]

Appendix A– Catalogue for January 1908 AAAP Exhibition
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From the Daniel Putnam Brinley and Katherine Sanger Brinley Papers, 1879–1984, Box 12, Folder 7, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Catalogue for January 1908 AAAP Exhibition. From the Daniel Putnam Brinley and Katherine Sanger Brinley Papers, 1879–1984, Box 12, Folder 7, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.


Appendix BList of Members of the New Society of American Artists in Paris (NSAAP)[149]

*signifies advisory board

Daniel Putnam Brinley*
Patrick Henry Bruce
Arthur Carles
Robert J. Coady
Jo Davidson
Richard H. Duffy
Maximilian A. Fisher
J. E. Kunz
Donald Shaw MacLaughlan*
John Marin
Alfred Maurer*
E. Sparks
Edward Steichen*
Max Weber*
Albert Worcester

An early version of this essay was presented at The Armory Show at 100 Symposium, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, on December 6, 2013. I am grateful to feedback on this material from that occasion, as well as from Katherine Bourguignon and Veerle Thielemans. This research has been supported by funding from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Walter Read Hovey Memorial Fund, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I am also grateful to my Auburn research assistants Chloë Courtney and Anna Dobbins for their responses to this material, research follow-ups and help with images, and to Petra ten-Doesschate Chu and Robert Alvin Adler for their mentoring and edits.

[1] On The Eight and their 1908 exhibition, see Rebecca Zurier, Robert W. Snyder, and Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York, exh. cat. (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, 1995), 68; Elizabeth Milroy, Painters of a New Century: The Eight and American Art, exh. cat. (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1991), 15–28; Elizabeth Kennedy, ed., The Eight and American Modernisms, exh. cat. (New Britain: New Britain Museum of American Art, 2009), 14–15; and Bennard B. Perlman, The Immortal Eight: American Painting from Eakins to the Armory Show, 1870–1913 (Cincinnati: North Light Publishers, 1979), 151–88.

[2] Gail Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” in The New Spirit: American Art in the Armory Show, 1913, by Gail Stavitsky, Laurette E. McCarthy, and Charles H. Duncan, exh. cat. (Montclair: Montclair Art Museum, 2013), 8.

[3] This building, which served as club headquarters from 1903 until 1909, is no longer extant.

[4] The catalogue is extant in the Daniel Putnam Brinley and Katherine Sanger Brinley Papers, 1879–1984, Box 12, Folder 7, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, digitized. The exhibition has received brief mention in Laurette E. McCarthy, “American Artists in the Armory Show,” Stavitsky, McCarthy, and Duncan, New Spirit, 79; Elizabeth M. Loeder, D. Putnam Brinley, 1879–1963: Impressionist and Mural Painter (Yarmouth, ME: Brinley Associates, 1983), 10; Elizabeth M. Loeder and Margaret Burke Clunie, Daniel Putnam Brinley: The Impressionist Years, exh. cat. (Brunswick: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1978), 8 (the book is not paginated, but the discussion of the exhibition appears on the eighth page counting from the title page); and Anne McCauley, “Edward Steichen: Artist, Impresario, Friend,” in Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries, by Sarah Greenough and others, exh. cat. (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2000), 60–61.

[5] On the Armory Show and its significance, see Marilyn Kushner, Kimberly Orcutt, eds., The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution, exh. cat. (New York: New York Historical Society, 2013); Stavitsky, McCarthy, and Duncan, New Spirit; Laurette E. McCarthy, Walter Pach (1883–1958): The Armory Show and the Untold Story of Modern Art in America (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011); and Milton Brown, The Story of the Armory Show (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988).

[6] Conversations about global arts and cultural nationalism have encouraged scholars to question the terms “America” and “American art” because they problematically act as metonyms for the United States instead of for the entire continents of the Americas. In this essay, I often employ “United States” or “US-art” when referring to this particular nation. However, in the late nineteenth century, the term for individuals from the United States was “American,” thus the term appears throughout this essay, albeit with reservation. Another essay that nicely blends this careful phrasing is Craig Houser, “Disharmony and Discontent: Reviving the American Art-Union and the Market for United States Art in the Gilded Age,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 11, no. 2 (Summer 2012), accessed January 22, 2015,

[7] Virginia M. Mecklenburg, “Slouching Toward Modernism: American Art at the Armory Show,” in Kushner and Orcutt, Armory Show at 100, 250.

[8] On foreign art study in Paris, see Susan Waller and Karen Carter, eds., Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870–1914 (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming May 2015). On US artists in Paris, see Kathleen Adler, Erica E. Hirshler, and H. Barbara Weinberg, Americans in Paris, 1860–1900, exh. cat. (London: National Gallery Company Limited, 2006); H. Barbara Weinberg, The Lure of Paris: Nineteenth-Century American Painters and Their French Teachers (New York: Abbeville Press, 1991); Lois Marie Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1990); David McCullough, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011); and Emily C. Burns, “Innocence Abroad: The Construction and Marketing of an American Artistic Identity in Paris, 1880–1910” (PhD diss., Washington University in St. Louis, 2012).

[9] Lois Marie Fink, “American Artists in France, 1850–1870,” American Art Journal 5, no. 2 (1973): 32–49.

[10] H. Barbara Weinberg, The American Pupils of Jean-Léon Gérôme (Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum, 1984); H. Barbara Weinberg, “Nineteenth-Century American Painters at the École des Beaux-Arts,” American Art Journal 13, no. 4 (1981): 66–84; and William Innes Homer, The Paris Letters of Thomas Eakins (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).

[11] On study at the Académie Julian, see M. Riccardo Nobili, “The Académie Julian,” Cosmopolitan 8, no. 6 (April 1890): 746–52; Kathleen Adler, “‘We’ll Always Have Paris’: Paris as Training Ground and Proving Ground,” in Adler, Hirshler, and Weinberg, Americans in Paris, 1860–1900, 30; Catherine Fehrer, “New Light on the Académie Julian and its Founder (Rodolphe Julian),” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 6, no. 103 (May-June 1984): 207–16; Catherine Fehrer, “A Search for the Académie Julian,” Drawing 4 (July-August 1982): 25–28; Robert Kashey, Elizabeth Kashey, and Catherine Fehrer, The Julian Academy: Paris, 1868–1939 (New York: Shepherd Gallery, 1989); and Weinberg, Lure of Paris, 221–62.

[12] Robyn Asleson, “The Idol and His Apprentices: Whistler and the Académie Carmen of Paris,” in After Whistler: The Artist and His Influence on American Painting, by Linda Merrill and others (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003), 74–85; Académie Matisse: Henri Matisse and His Nordic and American Pupils (New York: New York Studio School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture, 2001); and John H. Cauman, “Matisse and America, 1905–1933” (PhD diss., City University of New York, 2000).

[13] See Marie Bredif, Répertoire des Artistes ayant exposé au Salon des Indépendants de 1884 à 1914 (n.p.: privately printed, 1969). 

[14] Emily Burns, “Puritan Parisians: American Art Students in Late Nineteenth-Century Paris,” in A Seamless Web: Transatlantic Art in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Cherryl May and Marian Wardle (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Press Scholars, 2014), 123–46.

[15] Kimberly Orcutt, “Buy American? The Debate over the Art Tariff,” American Art 16, no. 3 (Autumn 2002): 82–91; Albert Boime, “The Chocolate Venus, ‘Tainted’ Pork, the Wine Blight and the Tariff: Franco-American Stew at the Fair,” in Paris 1889: American Artists at the Universal Exposition, by Annette Blaugrund and others, exh. cat. (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1989), 80–85; and Nicole Fouché, “L’American Chamber of Commerce of Paris (1894–1919): Est-elle aussi une institution ethnique?” Bulletin du CENA-EHESS 5 (1999): 61-64.

[16] H. Barbara Weinberg, “Late-Nineteenth-Century American Painting: Cosmopolitan Concerns and Critical Controversies,” Archives of American Art Journal 23, no. 4 (1983): 19–26.

[17] See Emily C. Burns, “Revising Bohemia: The American Artist Colony in Paris, 1890–1914,” in Waller and Carter, Foreign Artists and Communities, forthcoming, 97-110.

[18] “Art Students’ Fete: Formal Dedication of their Association Rooms in Paris,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 25, 1890, 1.

[19] “rester fermés à notre influence,” Henri Frantz, “Une colonie d’artistes américains à Paris,” Revue Illustrée, September 15, 1904, clipping, Archives, Musée Rodin, Paris.

[20] There is no one single archive for the AAAP. I have culled this data about membership numbers and exhibition history from hundreds of newspaper articles about club activities and exhibitions, artists’ papers, and collected exhibition catalogues.

[21] On the club’s founding, see “Art Students’ Fete”; “Gossip of the Gay City – Minister Reid at the Opening of the Clubhouse for American Art Students,” Washington Post, May 25, 1890, 1; “Paris Local,” American Register, May 24, 1890, 3; “American Students: Formal Opening of their Rooms on the Boulevard Montparnasse,” New York Herald, European ed., May 25, 1890, 1; “Americans in Paris,” New York Times, May 25, 1890, 3; and Emma Bullet, “For American Artists: A Headquarters Provided in Paris by a New Yorker,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 15, 1890, 18. See also A. A. Anderson, Experiences and Impressions: The Autobiography of Colonel A.A. Anderson (New York: The McMillan Press, 1933), 46–50; and Robert Eldon Harvey, The Art of Abraham Archibald Anderson, 1870–1940 (Stamford, CT: The Ashford Company, 2007), 13–14.

[22] “American Students: First Annual Meeting of Their New Association and Adoption of a Constitution,” New York Herald, European ed., June 20, 1890, 1; and “Paris Local,” American Register, May 30, 1891, 6. On Rodman Wanamaker, see William Allen Zulker, John Wanamaker: King of Merchants (Wayne, PA: Eaglecrest Press, 1993), 167–71; and Golden Book of Wanamaker Stores, Jubilee Year, 1861–1911 (Philadelphia: John Wanamaker, 1911), 245–55.

[23] On Wanamaker’s collection, see Laura Morowitz, “A Passion for Business: Wanamaker’s Munkácsy, and the Depiction of Christ,” Art Bulletin 91, no. 2 (2009): 184–206.

[24] French newspapers that regularly commented on the exhibitions of the AAAP include Journal des Artistes, La Chronique des arts et de la curiosité, and New York Herald, European edition. Some exhibitions were also reviewed in Les Temps.

[25] Catalogue. Annual Exhibition. W.A. Clark Prizes. American Art Association of Paris (Paris: Durand-Ruel, 1900). See also “Paris Local,” American Register, January 6, 1900, 6; “American Art Association: Senator W. A. Clark Awards,” New York Herald, European ed., January 5, 1900, 3; Julien Leclercq, “Petites Expositions,” La chronique des arts et de la curiosité, January 20, 1900, 19–20; “Exhibition of American Art,” Chicago Daily Tribune, January 1, 1900, 3; “Art Work of Americans,” Chicago Daily Tribune, January 7, 1900, 9; “The Week in Art,” New York Times, January 27, 1900, BR12; A.-E. Guyon-Verax, “Les petites salons: Américan art association (Galeries Durand-Ruel), Journal des Artistes, January 21, 1900, 2986–87; and Emma Bullet, “Was a Farce,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 28, 1900, 17. The exhibition included paintings by Ernest Blumenschein (1874–1960), Edward Dufner (1872–1957), Alexis Fournier (1865–1948), Maurer, and Tanner; drawings by Frieseke; and sculpture by Solon Borglum (1868–1922) and Herman Atkins MacNeil (1866–1947). On Durand-Ruel, see Sylvie Patrie, ed. Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market (London: National Gallery of Art, forthcoming May 2015).

[26] “American Art Association—Prizes—Exhibitions—Entertainments,” Quartier Latin, January 1898, 623.

[27] On Spicer-Simson, see Theodore Spicer-Simson, A Collection of Characters: Reminiscences of Theodore Spicer-Simson (Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1962).

[28] “Ils ont à leur disposition une salle spacieuse et bien éclairée,” Frantz, “Une colonie d’artistes.”

[29] “l’un de maîtres de ce groupe, c’est Herbert W. Faulkner.” Ibid.

[30] Michael Marrinan, Painting Politics for Louis-Philippe: Art and Ideology in Orléanist France, 1830–1848 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988), 206–15; and Albert Boime, The Academy and French Painting in the Nineteenth Century (London: Phaidon, 1971). On the extension of this concept into the later nineteenth century, see Robert Jensen, Marketing Modernism in Fin-de-siècle Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 138–66.

[31] On the PSAP, see Jennifer Martin Bienenstock, The Forgotten Episode: Nineteenth-Century American Art in Belgian Public Collections, exh. cat. (Brussels: American Culture Center, 1987), 18; Jennifer Martin Bienenstock, “From Yankee Ingenuity to Yankee Artistry: American Artists at the Antwerp World’s Fair of 1894,” Museummagazine (Museum voor Schone Kunsten) 7 (1987): 41; Fink, American Art, 130; and Erica E. Hirshler, “At Home in Paris,” in Adler, Hirshler, and Weinberg, Americans in Paris, 105. While the year of the club’s founding is uncertain, the PSAP emerged from the idea of a Paris-based contingent organizing exhibitions in Europe. Story claimed that the PSAP was founded from the committee of American artists in France that organized the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris. See “Mr. Julian Story Talks About Art,” New York Herald, European ed., November 29, 1896, 5; and “A Talk on Art: Mr. Julian Story Discusses the Position of American Artists in Europe,” New York Herald, November 15, 1896, section six, 15. Bridgman recalled that the organization had evolved from the jury for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893: “I suggested that we found a permanent society, to be known as the Paris Society of American Artists. At first the members of the organization kept in touch with one another by means of a series of monthly dinners. There were only a dozen members then, but the prestige of this initial nucleus, its subsequent organization and conservative growth, have made it one of the most powerful and influential bodies of its kind in all Europe.” “Frederic A. Bridgman and Some of His Paintings,” New York Times, April 24, 1904, SM5; and Ilene Susan Fort, “Frederick Arthur Bridgman and the American Fascination with the Exotic Near East” (PhD diss., City University of New York, 1990), 385.

[32] The Paris Society of American Painters: Constitution and By-Laws. Extant copies of the Constitution and By-Laws of the PSAP include an 1897 version, Henry Ossawa Tanner Papers, 1860s–1978, Reel D307 (frame 2081-2088), Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; and a post-1903 version at the New York Public Library.

[33] The Paris Society of American Painters: Constitution, Article 2, Section II.

[34] Blaugrund and others, Paris 1889, 138–39. See also Theodore Child, “American Artists at the Paris Exhibition,” Harper's New Monthly Magazine, September 1889, 502.

[35] Ellis Clarke, “Alien Element in American Art,” Brush and Pencil 7, October 1900, 35. On Weeks at the Exposition of 1900, see Diane P. Fischer, “Constructing the ‘American School’ of 1900,” in Paris 1900: “The American School” at the Universal Exposition, ed. Diane P. Fischer, exh. cat. (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1999), 26.

[36] On the unadorned artist studio and its opposition to the cosmopolitan studio, see Burns, “Innocence Abroad,” 95–111. On artists’ studios in the nineteenth century, see John Milner, The Studios of Paris: The Capital of Art in the Late Nineteenth Century (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988); Richard N. Gregg, The Artist’s Studio in American Painting, 1840–1983, exh. cat. (Allentown, PA: Allentown Art Museum, 1983); Liza Kirwin and Joan Lord, Artists in their Studios: Images from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art (New York: Collins Design, 2007); Ronnie Zakon, The Artist and the Studio in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, exh. cat. (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978); and David B. Cass, In the Studio: The Making of Art in Nineteenth-Century France, exh. cat. (Williamstown: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1981).

[37] On the Paris Salons, see Patricia Mainardi, The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Fae Brauer, Rivals and Conspirators: The Paris Salons and the Modern Art Centre (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013); and Fink, American Art. On the salonnets, see Marc Simpson, “Sargent and His Critics,” in Uncanny Spectacle: The Public Career of the Young John Singer Sargent, exh. cat. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997), 34–35; and Brauer, Rivals and Conspirators, 2.

[38] “Mr. Julian Story Talks About Art,” 5.

[39] See, for example, Jennifer A. Martin Bienenstock, “Gari Melchers and the Belgian Art World: 1882–1908,” in Gari Melchers: A Retrospective Exhibition, ed. Diane Lesko and Esther Persson, exh. cat. (St. Petersburg, FL: Museum of Fine Arts, 1990), 102–5. The PSAP submitted paintings to exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (1899); Dresden (1901); Vienna (1902); the National Academy of Design in New York (1903); Antwerp (1903; 1908); and Liège (1905).

[40] C. I. B. “Art Societies in Paris: Two Associations for American Painters in the French Capital,” New York Tribune, March 31, 1901, B15.

[41] Richard Harding Davis, About Paris (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1895), 219. The number of American art students in Paris is suggested in “Art Students’ Fete,” 1.

[42] Annette Blaugrund, “Behind the Scenes: The Organization of the American Paintings,” in Blaugrund and others, Paris 1889, 21, 26–27; and D. Dodge Thompson, “‘Loitering Through the Paris Exposition’: Highlights of the American Paintings at the Universal Exposition of 1889,” in Blaugrund and others, Paris 1889, 53–56.

[43] Child, “American Artists at the Paris Exhibition,” 489–521.

[44] André Michel, Journal des Débats, September 22, 1889, cited in Blaugrund, “Behind the Scenes,” 28.

[45] “Paris Art ‘Secession,’” American Art News, March 7, 1908, 5.

[46] “Artists Give Dinner to Director Cauldwell,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30, 1899, 7.

[47] John Briton Caudwell to Charles Kurtz, May 22, 1899, Charles Kurtz Papers, 1933–1990, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, cited in Fischer, “Constructing the ‘American School,’” 7.

[48] In 1901, probably after the controversy with the Exposition of 1900, John White Alexander “disapproved of the alleged Tammany methods of the society” and critiqued the ways in which the PSAP tried to “suppress the competition with themselves of younger artists.” “Art Notes,” American Register, March 2, 1901, 6. See also “The Paris Artists’ Quarrel: Statement by Member of Paris Society of American Painters,” New York Times, February 28, 1901, 9; “Says It’s an Artists’ Trust: Society of American Painters in Paris Not Liked,” New York Sun, February 26, 1901; “Politics and Aesthetics in Paris Art Society,” New York Herald, May 12, 1901, 3; and “Why Mr. Alexander was Asked to Resign,” New York Herald, March 3, 1901, 6. It remains unclear whether he resigned or was forced to leave the group, but the constitution did allow for any individual to be removed on a three-fourths vote (Constitution, Article 3, Section VIII).

[49] “Paris Society of American Painters,” American Art Annual 5 (1905–6): 232.

[50] “Happenings in the World of Art,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 10, 1901, 12.

[51] “Tribune des Idées: Les œuvres d’art et la douane aux Etats-Unis,” Journal des Artistes, December 10, 1905, 4918.

[52] “Good News for American Artists: New Tariff Regulations for the Work of Those Residing Temporarily Abroad,” New York Herald, European ed., January 7, 1899, 4; and “American Duties on Works of Art: Efforts of American Artists in Paris Gets the ‘Temporary Residence’ Rule Abolished,” New York Herald, European ed., January 23, 1899, 4. On tense conversations about US expatriation during the fin-de-siècle, see Nancy L. Green, “Expatriation, Expatriates, and Expats : The American Transformation of a Concept,” American Historical Review 114, no. 2 (April 2009): 307–28.

[53] See, for example, “A Letter from Gérome [sic],” New York Times, December 18, 1884, 4; and “The Salon’s Indignation: American Artists and the Tariff,” New York Daily Tribune, April 27, 1886, 5; and Orcutt, “Buy American?,” 85–88.

[54] Orcutt, “Buy American?,” 89.

[55] “Signatures Not Numerous: Petition for Free Entry of Art Works into United States Not Unanimously Supported,” Dallas Morning News, December 16, 1906, 27; “Art News from the Old World,” Brush and Pencil, January 1907, 10; “Will Not Sign Free Art Paper,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 1906, 5; and “Artists Abroad on Art Tariff,” New York Herald, February 10, 1907, 3.

[56] US-based painter William E. McMaster (1823–89) was one of many who claimed that “the American artist in Paris and his brother in this country are entirely different.” See “The Duty on Paintings: The Other Side of the Controversy Clearly Stated by Mr. MacMasters [sic],” New York World, Apr 14, 1883, 5. On the frustrations of other Paris-based artists with the PSAP, see “News of Art and Artists” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 22, 1907, 10.

[57] C. I. B. “Art Societies in Paris,” B15.

[58] Later members included John Humphreys-Johnston (1857–1941), Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839–1924), Stephen Seymour Thomas (1868–1956), Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937), Lionel Walden (1861–1933), and Harry van der Weyden (1868–1952).

[59] “American Artists at War in Paris: The Association with Which the Younger Men are Connected Coming to the Front,” New York Times, December 1, 1907, C3. See also “American Artists in Paris Divided,” New York Times, February 26, 1908, 4; “Artists War in Paris,” American Art News, December 7, 1907, 5; “Art Societies in Warfare: Younger Americans in Paris Rebel Against Elders’ Sway,” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 1, 1907, B1; and “News of Art and Artists,” 10.

[60] “Says it’s an Artists’ Trust”; and “Art Notes,” 6.

[61] “Eight Independent Painters,” New York Sun, May 15, 1907.

[62] “Art Societies in Warfare,” B1.

[63] “News of Art and Artists,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 22, 1907, 10.

[64] “American Artists at War in Paris,” C3.

[65] “Paris Letter,” American Art News, January 4, 1908. 5.

[66] “Artists War in Paris,” 5.

[67] A dearth of knowledge about which specific paintings were on display makes the exact nature of the exhibition and paintings’ levels of abstraction or expressionism difficult to assess. I consider objects that are roughly contemporaneous with the exhibition to best ascribe style, but some artists, like Maurice Sterne, had a wide stylistic range during this period.

[68] “Exhibition at the American Art Association: Private View of Impressionist and Tonalist Paintings Held in Latin Quarter Club,” New York Herald, European ed., January 26, 1908, 6.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Clarke, “Alien Element in American Art,” 35.

[71] One example of the standard AAAP catalogue is found in the library of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: American Art Association of Paris: Catalogue of Annual Exhibition (Paris: American Art Association of Paris, 1905).

[72] “Artist Maurer Now an Impressionist,” New York Times, April 19, 1908, C5. On American Impressionism, see Katherine Bourguignon, ed., American Impressionism: A New Vision, 1880–1900 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014); Judith Barter, ed., The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 2011); Ulrich Hiesinger, Impressionism in America: The Ten American Painters (Munich: Prestel, 1991), 9–12; H. Wayne Morgan, New Muses: Art in American Culture, 1865–1920 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978), 112–44; William H. Gerdts, American Impressionism (Seattle: The Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 1980); and William H. Gerdts, American Impressionism (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984).

[73] On Brinley, see Loeder, D. Putnam Brinley; Loeder and Clunie, Daniel Putnam Brinley; and Carol Lowrey, A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 2008), 58–59. Both pictures were noted by reviewers. One wrote, “Mr. D.P. Brinley gives us a glimpse of the Arno, a soft misty effect, interesting because of its delicate pearly quality. Another picture of his, a ‘Sunlit Garden’ is bright and vigorous and carries well.” See “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. Brinley‘s success in the AAAP exhibition is suggested by a letter from the AAAP secretary asking for images to reproduce in the journal North American. See Secretary [Sidney B. Veit or H.M Butler?] to Brinley, February 25, 1908, Brinley Papers, Box 3, Folder 14.

[74] “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6.

[75] On Oberteuffer, see Kathleen Kienholz and John Amiard Oberteuffer, Impressionist George Oberteuffer: His Life and Work in France and America (Lexington, MA: Edson Press, 2014); Reba Russell, Henriette Amiard Oberteuffer (1878–1962) and George Oberteuffer (1878–1940): Paintings, Watercolors, Pastels and Prints; A Loan Exhibition (Memphis: The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 1979); George Oberteuffer (American, 1878–1940) (New York: James Graham & Sons, 2002); Claire Nicolas White, H. Amiard Oberteuffer (1878–1962) and George Oberteuffer (1878–1940) (New York: Graham, 1978); and George Oberteuffer Vertical File, Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. I am grateful for correspondence with Oberteuffer’s grandson, John Oberteuffer.

[76] E. A. Taylor, “The American Colony of Artists in Paris,” International Studio, May 1911, 276.

[77] “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. On Frieseke, see Taylor, “American Colony,” 273-275; Virginia M. Mecklenburg, David Sellin, H. Barbara Weinberg, and Nicholas Kilmer, Frederick Carl Frieseke: The Evolution of An American Impressionist (Princeton, NJ: Telfair Museum of Art, 2002); Katherine Bourguignon, ed., Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915 (Giverny and Chicago: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2007); and Bruce Weber, The Giverny Luminists: Frieseke, Miller and Their Circle (New York: Berry-Hill Galleries, 1995).

[78] “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6.

[79] The reviewer from the European edition of the New York Herald commented positively on Worcester’s color, but was less impressed with Girl with the Fan because “the design on the fan seems to come away from the rest of the picture.” “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6.

[80] See Merrill and others, After Whistler. On Tonalism, see Kevin Avery and Diane Fischer, American Tonalism: Selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Montclair Art Museum (Montclair, NJ: Montclair Art Museum, 1999); Jane Becker, “A Taste for Landscape: Studies in American Tonalism” (PhD diss., University of Delaware, 2002); Wanda Corn, The Color of Mood: American Tonalism, 1880–1910 (San Francisco: M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, 1972); William Gerdts, Tonalism: An American Experience (New York: Grand Central Art Galleries Art Education Association, 1982); Ralph Sessions, The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism (New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2005); and Marc Simpson and others, Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly, exh. cat. (Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2008).

[81] On Dabo, see Merrill and others, After Whistler, 170.

[82] Amelia Von Ende, “The Art of Leon and Theodore Scott Dabo,” Brush and Pencil, January 1906, 6, 7. Von Ende concluded with the comment that “Comparison with Whistler has been frequent; but while Arsene Alexandre calls the art of Theodore Scott Dabo the realization of what Whistler attempted, Theodore Duret, the authority on Whistler, pronounces his work absolutely unique, comparable to nothing heretofore known.” Ibid., 14.

[83] See Grace M. Mayer, “Chronology of Steichen’s Life,” unpublished manuscript, Thomas J. Watson Library, 25, 26, 26a, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. On Steichen in Paris, see McCauley, “Edward Steichen,” 56–64; Ronald J. Gedrim, “Peinture à la Lumière: 1898–1907,” in Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography, by Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, 2008), 83–95; and Mecklenburg, “Slouching Toward Modernism,” 251–52.

[84] The reviewer celebrated the depiction of “vast distance in one of his landscapes,” and highlighted that “in the other, the balcony and tree composition is very happy.” “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. Other similar landscapes include Shrouded Figure in Moonlight (1905, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska) and Across the Salt Marshes, Huntington (1905, Toledo Museum of Art).

[85] Marin may have been encouraged to join the AAAP by his stepbrother, Charles Bittinger (1879–1970), who had exhibited etchings with the group since 1903. Marin exhibited pastels at the AAAP in November 1907. See Jessica Murphy, “John Marin,” in Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O’Keeffe, ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), 156–58. By 1906, the AAAP had become known as an organization that showed experimental etchings, after it had hosted exhibitions of prints by Canadian and US artists that included George C. Aid (1872–1938) and Donald Shaw MacLaughlan (1876–1938). Michael McCue, Paris and Tryon: George C. Aid (1872–1938) and His Artistic Circles in France and North Carolina (Columbus, NC: Condar Press, 2003), 207; and Rosemarie L. Tovell, A New Class of Art: The Artist's Print in Canadian Art, 1877–1920 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1996), 77–86. See also “Une exposition d’aquafortistes américains,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 35, no. 58 (November 1906): 244–45; and “Current Art Matters,” New York Times, February 4, 1906, X8. See also the informal catalogue for the 1906 etching show, Herman Armour Webster Papers, 1900–1974, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; and Exposition d’eaux-fortes originales par Donald Shaw MacLaughlan (Paris: American Art Association of Paris, 1906), at the National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. On MacLaughlan, see Samantha Rippner, “Donald Shaw MacLaughlan,” in Messinger, Stieglitz and His Artists, 154–55. Thanks to Michael McCue and Rosemarie Tovell for their correspondence about etching and the AAAP.

[86] The inclusion of titles of towns in the AAAP catalogue has enabled me to research their locations and consider possible pieces from the Marin catalogue raisonné. Charenton may be akin to a watercolor from 1908 entitled Country, France, reproduced in Meredith E. Ward, John Marin: The Breakthrough Years from Paris to the Armory Show (New York: Meredith Ward Fine Art, 2013), 13. Other possibilities of Marin watercolors of Meaux are reproduced in Sheldon Reich, John Marin: A Stylistic Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1970), 2:327, 330, 331, and 336. Another from the series is in the Art Institute of Chicago.

[87] Reich, John Marin, 16, 18. See also Ward, John Marin, 7–11.

[88] “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. On Sterne, see Allan C. Bixby, “A Promising Young Painter-Etcher: Maurice H. Sterne,” Brush and Pencil, May 1902, 99–105, 107–10; and H. M. Kallen and Maurice Sterne, Maurice Sterne: Retrospective Exhibition 1902–1932 Paintings Sculpture Drawings, exh. cat. (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1933).

[89] The autochromes were not yet installed when the New York Herald reporter came to see the show, but the writer noted that “the reproduction of some of the works in question were on show and seemed really surprising.” “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. On the autochrome, see John Wood, The Art of the Autochrome: The Birth of Color Photography (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993); and Luisa Casella, “On View Jan 25-30: Original Autochromes Produced Using the First Color Photographic Process,” January 20, 2011, Metropolitan Museum of Art, accessed January 19, 2015,

[90] Edward Steichen, “Painting and Photography,” Camera Work 23 (July 1908). Reprinted in Alfred Stieglitz, ed., Alfred Stieglitz: Camera Work, the Complete Illustrations, 1903–1917 (Cologne: Taschen, 1997), 422.

[91] Alfred Stieglitz, “The New Color Photography – A Bit of History,” Camera Work 20 (October 1907). Reprinted in Jonathan Green, Camera Work: A Critical Anthology (Millerton, NY: Aperture, Inc., 1973), 126.

[92] Ibid.

[93] “Start New School in Art: Young Americans Gain Attention by a Paris Exhibition,” New York Times, February 9, 1908, C1.

[94] Maurer exhibited regularly at the AAAP from 1899 to 1913, but he may not have participated because he was involved with an overlapping exhibition in Chicago from January 7 to January 26, 1908, which may have been organized by the AAAP. See Paintings and Sculpture by Six American Artists Resident in France (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1908); “Chicago,” American Art News, January 18, 1908, 6; and McCarthy, “American Artists,” 79. On Maurer, see Stacey B. Epstein, Alfred H. Maurer: At the Vanguard of Modernism (Andover: Addison Gallery of American Art, 2015); Stacey B. Epstein, Alfred H. Maurer: Aestheticism to Modernism (New York: Hollis Taggart Galleries, 1999); Nick Madormo, “The Early Career of Alfred Maurer: Paintings of Popular Entertainments,” American Art Journal 15, no. 1 (1983): 5–34; Sheldon Reich, Alfred H. Maurer, 1868–1932 (Washington, DC: Published for the National Collection of Fine Arts by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1973); and Elizabeth McCausland, A. H. Maurer (New York: A.A. Wyn, Inc., 1951).

[95] “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. The catalogue attributes the portrait bust of Maurer to Davidson, but the New York Herald review assigns the bust to Young, who is recorded to have made a sculpture of Maurer. Perhaps both artists made sculptures that depicted their colleague, or there is an error in the catalogue.

[96] On Young in Paris, see Norma S. Davis, A Song of Joys: The Biography of Mahonri Mackintosh Young, Sculptor, Painter, Etcher (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1999), 53–94; Thomas E. Toone, Mahorni Young: His Life and Art (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 36–62; Frank Jewett Mather, Jr. and Mahonri M. Young, Mahonri M. Young: Retrospective Exhibition (Andover: Addison Gallery of American Art, 1940); 51–56. The artist appears to have been based in Salt Lake City during the time of the AAAP exhibition, so may have shipped sculptures for the show. See also Alice M. Horne, “Utah’s Sculptor, Mahonri M. Young,” Young Woman’s Journal, April 1910, 196–204; and Roberta K. Tarbell, “Mahonri Young’s Sculptures of Laboring Men, Walt Whitman, and Jean-François Millet,” in Walt Whitman and the Visual Arts, ed. Geoffrey M. Sill and Roberta K. Tarbell (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992), 142–65.

[97] “Paris Letter,” American Art News, February 8, 1908, 5.

[98] The reviewer from the New York Herald commented that the artist “is very successful in his representation of falling snow, and his flower study is fine in color.” “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6. The artist was living in Cincinnati by 1918.

[99] R. J. Coady, “American Art,” Soil, December 1916, 3. See also Eric B. White, Transatlantic Avant-Gardes: Little Magazines and Localist Modernism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013), 87–89; Menno Hubregtse, “Robert J. Coady’s The Soil and Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain: Taste, Nationalism, Capitalism, and New York Dada,” RACAR 34, no. 2 (2009): 28–42; Jay Bochner, “The Marriage of Rogue and The Soil,” in Little Magazines and Modernism: New Approaches, ed. Suzanne W. Churchill and Adam McKible (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 59–64; and Wanda Corn, The Great American Thing: Modern Art and National Identity, 1915–1935 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 85–87. I am grateful to Kathryn Floyd for her suggestions about researching Coady.

[100] “Start New School in Art,” C1. It is possible that the reviewer was long-time art critic Charles de Kay (1848–1935), who wrote regularly about American art in New York and in Paris, but it is not known for certain. The New York Times covered enough of the Paris art scene to have had a Paris-based reporter to visit such an exhibition and wire the review back. The author also recalls a conversation with Steichen in Paris so presumably saw the exhibition.

[101] On Meunier, see Micheline Jerome-Schotsmans, Constantin Meunier: Sa vie, son œvure (Brussels: Belgian Art Research Institute and Olivier Bertrand, 2012); and Hilde van Gelder, ed. Constantin Meunier: A Dialogue with Allan Sekula (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2005). Both artists also respond to Auguste Rodin’s textured surfaces. See Roberta K. Tarbell and Ilene Susan Fort, “American Sculpture and Rodin,” in Rodin and America: Influence and Adaptation, 1876–1936, ed. Bernard Barryte and Roberta K. Tarbell, exh. cat. (Stanford: Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, 2011), 109–11. Jo Davidson’s sculptures were also made in dialogue with Rodin’s work. Tarbell and Fort, “American Sculpture and Rodin,” 129–31.

[102] “Start New School in Art,” C1. On the nationalistic adoption of American Impressionism, see Nancy Mowll Mathews, “Monet and the Americans: Whose Impressionism?” in Monet and American Impressionism, by Dulce M. Román and others (Gainesville: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, 2015), 27-37.

[103] One article claimed that “many eminent art critics of Paris commend the unusual warmth of the work now done by this group of young Americans,” but I have not located the reviews suggested by this comment. See “Start New School in Art,” C1. The US press much more closely followed the events succeeding the AAAP exhibition, such as the founding of the New Society of American Artists in Paris, than the French press.

[104] Garland was responding to an eclectic exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1894. See A Critical Triumvirate [Hamlin Garland, Lorado Taft, and Charles Francis Browne], Impressions on Impressionism: Being a Discussion of the American Art Exhibition at the Art Institute, Chicago (Chicago: The Central Art Association, 1894), 23. The catalogue for this exhibition has been digitized by the Art Institute of Chicago, accessed January 19, 2015,

[105] The main sources listing the AAAP Board of Governors are The Anglo-American Annual: A Directory of British and American Residents, Commercial Firms, Agencies and Institutions in Paris (Paris: Gérardin, 1905), 206; Laura McProud, “History of the American Art Association,” in Souvenir of the Louisiana Purchase: American Students’ Census, Paris (Paris: Printed by Louella B. Mendenhall, 1903), 222–23; and William H. Ingram, Who’s Who in Paris: Anglo-American Colony (Paris: The American Register, 1905), 127. Sustaining members included Laurence V. Benét, director of the Hotchkiss Company, which manufactured machine guns; Blythe W. Branch, director of the Galena Oil Co. Société Française; Henri Cachard of the Paris office of Coudert Brothers law firm; William S. Dalliba, of the American Express Company for Europe; Oscar F. Eisenmann, a diamond merchant; art dealer Eugene Fischoff; Charles F. Greene of Spaulding Jewelers; P. M. Grundwalt, a fur merchant; John H. Harjes and Henry Herman Harjes of Drexel, Harjes & Co.; Alfred S. Heidelbach of the investment banking firm Heidelbach, Ickelheimer & Co.; James H. Hoff and James H. Hyde of the Equitable Life Insurance Company in New York; W. E. Ingersoll of the New York Life Insurance Co. Paris office; rentier S. de Jonge; Francis Kimbel, the head of a company to ship goods between Europe and the United States; John Munroe of the Paris subsidiary of Munroe and Company Bankers; George R. Ostheimer of Ostheimer Brothers, export and import commission merchants; Henry Peartree, an attorney with the international law firm of Coudert Brothers; Mark Percy Peixotto, director of Equitable Life Assurance Society; Bernard J. Shoninger, of Shoninger Brothers Merchants, which produced pianos and organs; George St. Amant, a merchant based on the Avenue de l’Opéra; Sidney B. Veit, owner of Veit, Son & Co., commission merchants; and Henry Vignaud, first secretary of the United States embassy in Paris. At least twenty-five of the sustaining or honorary AAAP members were affiliated with the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ACCP). See Ingram, Who’s Who, 127; McProud, “History of the American Art Association,” 223; The Year Book for 1903 (Paris: American Chamber of Commerce Paris, 1903); Fouché, “L’American Chamber of Commerce,” 51–78; and André Baeyens and Serge Bellanger, The American Chamber of Commerce in France Centennial (New York: French-American Chamber of Commerce, 1996). See also Nancy L. Green, The Other Americans in Paris: Businessmen, Countesses, Wayward Youth, 1880–1941 (Chicago and London; The University of Chicago Press, 2014). Thanks to Chloë Courtney for supplementing my research on some of these men’s careers in Paris.

[106] “Hanging Committee Strikes: Curious Situation in the American Art Association of Paris,” New York Times, February 16, 1908, C1. See also “Yankee Artists in Warfare: Hanging Committee of American Society in Paris, Disliking Board’s Action, Goes on Strike,” Chicago Tribune, February 16, 1908, A2, and “Dissension Among American Artists,” New York Herald, February 16, 1908, 10.

[107] “Paris Letter,” American Art News, February 29, 1908, 5.

[108] “Paris Letter,” American Art News, March 7, 1908, 5.

[109] “Chicago Artist is Honored: Robert MacCameron Elected Chairman of American Art-Association Committee in Paris,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 12, 1908, 8; “Art School for Women: Also New Committee Chosen for American Art Association,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 17, 1908, 10.

[110] “Yankee Artists in Warfare,” A2; “Hanging Committee Strikes,” C1; “Chicago Artist is Honored,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 12, 1908, 8; and “Art School for Women,” 10.

[111] Wanamaker returned in 1909. See “Wanamaker to Save Club,” New York Times, October 4, 1909, 20.

[112] William R. Hereford, “Where the Latin Quarter Trilbies Gather: The Domeless Dome of Paris,” World Magazine, November 27, 1910, 6. Thanks to Meredith Ward for sharing this image and the text of the article with me.

[113] On this organization, see D. Scott Atkinson and William Innes Homer, The New Society of American Artists in Paris, 1908–1912 (New York: The Queens Museum, 1986); McCauley, “Edward Steichen,” 61–62; Penelope Niven, Steichen (New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 1997), 262–64; William Innes Homer, Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Garde (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1977), 87; and Mecklenburg, “Slouching Toward Modernism,” 252.

[114] “American Artists in Paris Divided,” 4.

[115] “Paris Art ‘Secession,’” 5.

[116] Edward Steichen, A Life in Photography (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1963); as cited in Loeder and Clunie, Daniel Putnam Brinley, 8 (counted from title page).

[117] This exhibition may have been one of the annual international exhibitions hosted at the Hagenbund, or in the Kuenstler Haus as in 1902. See Matthias Boeckl, Agnes Hussein-Arco, and Harald Krejci, Hagenbund: A European Network of Modernism, 1900–1938 (Munich: Hirmer, 2014).

[118] Loeder and Clunie, Daniel Putnam Brinley, 12 (counted from title page). Brinley’s nickname was “Put.”

[119] Ibid.

[120] See “Paris Society of American Painters,” American Art Annual 8 (1910–1911): 215. On Butler and the Paris art world in 1908, see Richard H. Love, Theodore Earl Butler: Emergence from Monet’s Shadow (Chicago: Haase-Mumm Publishing Company, Inc., 1985), 297–301.

[121] “American Artists Found New Protective Society,” New York Herald, European ed., February 29, 1908, 6. This article was ironically placed beneath an article by PSAP member Henry Bisbing about his recent tour of the United States entitled “America Makes Progress in Art.”

[122] “New Society for American Artists,” New York Herald, March 29, 1908, 2.

[123] Ibid.

[124] “Paris Art ‘Secession,’” 5.

[125] “Paris’s Art ‘Secession.’: Painters Here Discuss the New Society Formed Abroad,” New York Evening Post, February 28, 1908, 5.

[126] Ibid.

[127] Ibid.

[128] Ibid. The AAAP had hosted a one-man exhibition for Sterner in April 1896. See “Art Notes,” American Register April 25, 1896, 6. The Quartier Latin reported on it and reprinted the poster in its November 1896 issue.

[129] “Paris Art ‘Secession,’” 5.

[130] François Boucher, American Footprints in Paris: A Guide Book of Historical Data Pertaining to Americans in the French Capital from the Earliest Days to the Present Times, trans. Frances Wilson Huard (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1921), 142.

[131] “Art Activities During and After the War,” New York Times, June 2, 1918, 79. See also Jocelyne Rotily, Artistes américains à Paris, 1914–1939 (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1988), 69; and Elizabeth Hutton Turner, American Artists in Paris, 1919–1929 (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1988), 14, 42.

[132] See Atkinson and Homer, New Society of American Artists, 16. The book is unpaginated, but the list appears on the first page of Atkinson’s essay, the sixteenth page from the cover page. On the rise of artists’ organization and available exhibition spaces, see McCarthy, “American Artists,” 68–75.

[133] The shift to New York as the epicenter of US modernism is recounted in Corn, Great American Thing.

[134] For example, Brinley returned to New York in July 1908. McCarthy, “American Artists,” 83. Weber was in New York in late 1908, and Steichen and Marin followed suit by the end of 1909. McCauley, “Edward Steichen,” 63.

[135] On New York-Paris artistic dialogue, see Lee Vedder and Bronwyn Griffith, New York-Paris aller-retour / New York-Paris Round Trip, exh. cat. (Giverny: Terra Foundation for the Arts; Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, 2002). On this exhibition, see McCauley, “Edward Steichen,” 63–64.

[136] Mecklenburg, “Slouching Toward Modernism,” 252. See also Greenough, Modern Art and America, 544; Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” 9; and McCarthy, “American Artists,” 71–72.

[137] “American Artists at War in Paris,” C3.

[138] On the use of the term “younger,” see McCarthy, “American Artists,” 68–69.

[139] Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” 9–12; and McCarthy, “American Artists,” 68.

[140] On Brinley and the Armory Show, see Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” 18, 24, 34, 35, 37; and McCarthy, “American Artists,” 83.

[141] Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” 15.

[142] Tarbell and Fort, “American Sculpture and Rodin,” 129–31; and Stavitsky, “American Artists,” 87.

[143] “Exhibition at the American Art Association,” 6; and Mecklenburg, “Slouching Toward Modernism,” 245.

[144] “New Society for American Artists,” 2.

[145] On the didactic language at the Armory Show, see Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” 19.

[146] See Martha Tedeschi, “A Pre-Emptive Strike: John Marin and the Armory Show,” in Kushner and Orcutt, Armory Show at 100, 275–79; and Stavitsky, “Americans and the Armory Show,” 26.

[147] “American Artists Found New Protective Society,” 6.

[148] Mecklenburg, “Slouching Toward Modernism,” 260.

[149] “American Artists Found New Protective Society,” 6; and “American Artists in Paris Divided,” 4. Atkinson also notes that E. Sparks and Arthur Carles (1882–1952) were involved with the NSAAP. Atkinson and Homer, New Society of American Artists, 3 (counted from title page).