Wednesday, September 5, 2007

They STILL Don't Get It!

In 1911, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz invited a young Pablo Picasso to his (Stieglitz's) gallery "291" in New York City. It was to be Picasso's first one-man show. New York critics were outraged, and called the upstart Spaniard's work among other things, "the craziest emanations of a disordered mind, the gibberings of a lunatic!" The works were priced at between twenty and forty dollars, and only one sold to the public--a drawing Picasso made when he was 12. "I was ashamed for America," said Stieglitz," to have to return them all." The entire collection of early Picassos could have been had for $2000. Stieglitz even went so far as to approach the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, asserting that it would be wonderful to keep all these paintings together in the States. The director responded that "such mad pictures will never mean anything in America" and he politely declined.