The Archives of American Art presented a special reading of Walt Kuhn's letters by Michael Murphy at the opening reception for Walt Kuhn: American Modern on February 7, 2013 at DC Moore Gallery.

ONE OF THE FOREMOST AMERICAN ARTISTS of the twentieth century, Walt Kuhn (1877–1949) received great acclaim during his lifetime for the bold simplicity and psychological intensity of his modernist paintings of showgirls and circus performers, as well as his still lifes. He was also one of the principal organizers of the landmark Armory Show of 1913, which introduced the American public to avant-garde European art and helped change the course of painting and sculpture in the United States. This first major exhibition of Kuhn’s work in decades, on the occasion of the 100TH anniversary of the Armory Show, includes major loans from museums and private collections.

THE STORY OF THE ARMORY SHOW, a milestone in American art history, could not be told without the collections of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. The Archives holds the largest accumulation of primary source material related to this watershed event including a treasure trove of letters written by the organizers of the show, especially those from Walt Kuhn, one of its most active participants. Kuhn’s letters to his wife Vera and his associates are often vividly descriptive, with frequent passages of humor and revealing expression.

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