George Bellows
Robert I. Aitken
George Bellows

Gallery B
American Paintings and Sculpture

Turning right from Gallery A into Gallery B, one could view more examples of contemporary American sculpture. Robert Aitken expressed homage to one of the Armory Show organizers by exhibiting a bust of George Bellows (shown on the left). Also in Gallery B was the work of Chester Beach, who, along with George Gray Barnard (shown in Gallery A), submitted allegorical models inspired by the work of Rodin. Noticably absent from the gallery were the older generation of Beaux Arts sculptors including Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Frederick MacMonnies, and Daniel Chester French. The French Beaux Arts style of sculpture and architecture (named after the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris) dominated much of late 19th- and early 20th-century sculpture and captured American's attention at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. The organizers of the Armory Show favored American sculpture that departed from this pervasive neoclassicism, so they did not invite sculptors like Gaudens and French or Lorado Taft and Janet Scudder, who continued the traditions of the Beaux Arts school.

Also missing from Gallery B's cross section of American sculpture were the works of Solon and Gutzon Borglum. Gutzon Borglum was one of the founding members of the American Association of Painters and Sculptors (AAPS), the organizing body behind the Armory Show. Though a member of the NAD, as were others in the AAPS, Borglum believed that the academy needed to revise its exhibition policies to allow more variety within the institution. However, shortly before the Armory Show opened, Borglum accused members of the AAPS of overlooking important American sculptors and focusing instead on whimsical amateurs. After publicly declaring his objections to the AAPS in the New York Times, Borglum withdrew his work from the show. His brother Solon, as well as several other sculptors, also removed their work from the exhibition in support of Borglum's contentions (Brown, Story 103).


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