217 Films’ “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” at Providence Public Library

In 1913, why did President Theodore Roosevelt call Cubism “repellent?”

Find out at the Rhode Island Premiere of 217 Films’ “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” at Providence Public Library May 11

The filmmakers will be in attendance and will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

– In 1913, the International Exhibition of Modern Art, which became known simply as the “Armory Show,” changed the face of art in America. At this ground-breaking show, many Americans had their first taste of a new, revolutionary kind of art. By entering the doors of an armory located between 25th and 26th Streets in New York City, they entered the modern era.

Connecticut-based independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films will screen their latest film “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” in a Rhode Island premiere at the Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street, Providence (Auditorium, 3rd floor) on Sunday, May 11 at 2:00 PM.  The filmmakers will be in attendance and will participate in a Q&A following the screening.  This film is free and open to the public.

From February 17 until March 15, 1913, Americans by the thousands pushed their way through the doors of the 69th Regiment Armory to experience “Modern Art” for the first time.  What they saw annoyed and infuriated some, and captivated, delighted, and inspired many.

President Theodore Roosevelt, upon visiting the exhibition, called the most modern of these works “repellent.”  That was just the beginning of the controversy surrounding this historic exhibition.

What resulted from these four weeks of mass exposure to European artists such as Cézanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, and the upstart Marcel Duchamp with his “Nude Descending a Staircase”—as well as such Americans as Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and Charles Sheeler—changed how Americans came to understand their own times.  

Excerpts from the film can be viewed at:  http://vimeo.com/two17films/videos

“The more I dug deeply into the history of the Armory Show,” said director Michael Maglaras, who also wrote the film and narrates it, “the more it became clear to me that, with this exhibition focused on ‘the new,’ we had truly entered the American century: the century of our greatest achievements as a nation and the beginning of our preeminence on the world stage.”

“The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show” features works by more than 60 American and European painters and sculptors.  The film probes deeply into the history of how the show was organized; examines the critical efforts of American artists such as Arthur B. Davies, Walter Pach, and Walt Kuhn; and explores the impact that the show had on collectors of art as well as ordinary citizens.

The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a filmmaker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art), “alive and fresh” (Art New England), “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News), and “unforgettable” (Journal of American History).  David Berona, author of “Wordless Books” has said of “O Brother Man” “This film is stunning,” and Judith Regan of Sirius XM called it “magnificent.” A recent review in The Dartmouth said of “The Great Confusion” that “Michael Maglaras...brought the drama of the original show back to life.” He has recently been featured in a full-length interview on “Conversations from Penn State” on Public Television.

WHAT:  Rhode Island premiere of 217 Films’ “The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show.” The filmmakers will be in attendance and introduce the screening.   

WHEN:  Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm
WHERE:  Providence Public Library
150 Empire St., Providence, RI
Directions and information: http://www.provlib.org/events/rhode-island-premiere-great-confusion-1913-armory-show-michael-maglaras-documentary
TEL:  401-455-8134

COST:  Free and open to the public

On the Web:  217 Films: www.two17films.com
Providence Public Library: www.provlib.org

ARTWORK IMAGE CREDIT INFO:  Albert Gleizes.  Man on a Balcony (Portrait of Dr. Morinaud), 1912.  Oil on canvas, 77 x 45 1/4 inches (195.6 x 114.9 cm).  The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950.  Philadelphia Museum of Art.  © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.