Seeing Barnum’s entertainments as a context for America’s response to the avant-garde requires us to reconsider both modernists’ dismissal of this response as simple philistinism and subsequent interpretations of public dismay as evidence of avant-garde art’s political impact.
A "Focus on New Scholars" Workshop featuring dissertation research presented by J. Stan Barrett, Ph.D., English Language and Literature, and Stephanie Williams, Ph.D, Sociology
The nation's first major exhibition of modern and avant-garde art, The 1913 Armory Show in New York incited curiosity, criticism and controversy among the American press and public. Barrett examines how the show's organizers capitalized on promotional and press techniques pioneered by P.T. Barnum to generate a media circus and sensationalized public and critical response to the show.