By: Robert Henri
Source: Henri, Robert. The Masquerade Dress. 1911. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.metmuseum.org (accessed November 12, 2002).
About the Artist: Robert Henri (1865–1929) was born Robert Cozad in Cincinnati, Ohio. Robert's family moved frequently, living in Nebraska and New Jersey before he was eighteen. A legal dispute between his father and a neighbor ended in the death of the neighbor, forcing Robert's father to flee town. Following this event, Robert changed his last name from Cozad to Henri, so he would not be connected to his father. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Académie Julian in Paris, Henri steadily developed a reputation as a highly respected artist and teacher. His New York studio served as a meeting place for many of the most notable artists of the day.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many American artists retreated to Europe to study painting. Paris, in particular, was considered the artistic and cultural capital of the world, and was home to a host of museums and schools. Artists accustomed to working in one specific style found freedom...
(The entire section is 1089 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
By: Willa Cather
Source: Cather, Willa. Chapter 1 of O Pioneers! Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1913. Reprinted, with historical essay and explanatory notes, by David Stouck. Lincoln, Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press, 1992. Available online at http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Willa_Cather/O_Pioneers/Part... ; website home page: http://www.pagebypagebooks.com (accessed November 14, 2002).
About the Author: Willa Cather (1873–1947) was born in Virginia. When she was ten, her family moved to Nebraska, which became the setting for many of her works of fiction. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh and worked as a journalist. From 1906 to 1912, she was the editor of McClure's Magazine in New York. Her poetry, short stories, novels, and essays won many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922).
In her essay "My First Novels (There Were Two)," Willa Cather writes, "My first novel, Alexander's Bridge, was very like what painters call a studio picture." To Cather,...
(The entire section is 1585 words.)
By: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
Source: Fuller, Meta Vaux Warrick. Ethiopia Awakening, 1914. Available online at ; website home page: http://www.wisc.edu (accessed November 13, 2002).
About the Artist: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877–1968) was born in Philadelphia. The youngest of three children, Fuller attended a segregated school in Philadelphia until she was awarded a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum School for the Industrial Arts. She also studied in Paris. Fuller's early work was influenced by her brother's and grandfather's horror stories, earning her the title "the sculptor of horror."
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller was not deterred by the social expectations for women at the beginning of the twentieth century. Nor did she allow racism to keep her from her artistic endeavors. Fuller's awareness of racial differences was developed as a child and young woman. She first experienced prejudice when she vacationed with her family in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was not allowed to play with the white children. Later, when she tried to rent an apartment in Paris, the landlady refused to rent to her because of her race. When she married Solomon Carter Fuller, a...
(The entire section is 860 words.)
By: Vernon and Irene Castle
Source: Castle, Vernon and Irene. Modern Dancing. Special Edition. New York: The World Syndicate Co., 1914.
About the Authors: Vernon and Irene Castle danced together from 1912 to 1916. Vernon Castle (1887–1918) was born in England. He was the youngest child in his family. Castle attended Birmingham University and graduated with a degree in engineering, but his career took a different direction when he moved to New York. He appeared in musicals and stage productions between 1907 and 1911, using the stage name Castle rather than his birth name of Blythe so he would not be confused with his sister, actress Coralie Blythe. Castle was known as an eccentric. Irene Foote Castle (1893–1969) was born in New Rochelle, New York. She studied dance as a child. Her parents sent her to Saint Mary's Episcopal Convent and to the National Park Seminary, but Irene had other ambitions. At the age of sixteen she appeared in theatricals, where she learned dance techniques that would become part of the Castle style. Irene and Vernon met in 1910 and married in 1911. Vernon Castle died in a plane crash during World War I. Irene continued to perform after his death and married three more times.
(The entire section is 1444 words.)
"St. Louis Blues"
By: W.C. Handy
Source: Handy, W.C. "St. Louis Blues." Handy Bros. Music Co., 1914. Historic American Sheet Music, 1850–1920. Sheet Music Collection, The John Hay Library, Brown University. About the Artist: William Christopher Handy (1871–1958) was born in Florence, Alabama, the son and grandson of ministers. Although his family didn't approve of his interest in music, Handy played in a minstrel show, sang in the church choir, and played in a brass band when he was growing up. Trained as a teacher, as a young man he taught, worked in a factory, and was a faculty member at the Agricultural and Mechanical College in Normal, Alabama. During that time he also played in several bands, lived in a handful of cities, and performed throughout the United States. In 1909, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he began writing his own version of Mississippi Delta blues music. His songs are credited with popularizing the genre. Known as the "Father of the Blues," Handy also compiled traditional blues tunes and published them in Blues: An Anthology in 1926. He also wrote an autobiography and two books about the history of African American music.
IntroductionIn 1912, W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" became the first blues composition to be published...
(The entire section is 1004 words.)
Debate Over the Birth of a Nation
"Capitalizing Race Hatred"
By: New York Globe Date: April 6, 1915
Source: "Capitalizing Race Hatred." New York Globe, April 6, 1915. Reprinted in "The Birth of a Nation": D.W. Griffith, Director. Robert Lang, ed. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1994.
"Reply to the New York Globe"
By: D.W. Griffith
Date: April 10, 1915
Source: Griffith, D.W. "Reply to the New York Globe." New York Globe, April 10, 1915. Reprinted in "The Birth of a Nation": D.W. Griffith, Director. Robert Lang, ed. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1994.
About the Author: David Lewelyn Wark Griffith (1875–1948) was born into an impoverished family in Crestwood, Kentucky. The son of a former Confederate soldier, Griffith wanted to be a playwright, but instead became an actor and director, working for Edison Studios and Biograph Company. As director at Biograph from 1908 to 1913, Griffith made over 400 films, introducing actors such as Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish and pioneering a style of filmmaking now standard in the movie industry.
(The entire section is 3672 words.)
"The Imagining Ear"
By: Robert Frost
Source: Frost, Robert. "The Imagining Ear." Collected Poems, Prose & Poetry. New York: Library of America, 1995.
About the Author: Robert Frost (1874–1963) was born in San Francisco, California. His father, William Prescott Frost, was a New Englander, and his mother, Isabel Moodie Frost, was Scottish. William, a journalist and local politician, died when Frost was 11, and the family returned to the East coast to live with family members. Though not an ambitious student, young Robert found that he loved literature during high school. He eventually attended both Dartmouth College and Harvard, but did not earn a degree from either school. Frost supported himself by teaching, farming, and working in a textile mill before he began publishing poetry. In 1895, he married Elinor White. His first poem had been published in 1894 and he continued to try to write poetry. In 1912, the Frosts went to live in England, where they remained for three years. During this time, Robert Frost published his first book of poetry, A Boy's Will (1914). His second book, North of Boston, was published the following year and is generally considered his best work. These volumes established Frost as a poet. Throughout his career, he received many awards,...
(The entire section is 1870 words.)
Charlie Chaplin as the "Little Tramp"
By: Charlie Chaplin Date: 1915
Source: The Kobal Collection. Reproduced by permission.
About the Artist: Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) was born in London, England. His parents were both performers, and he began performing at an early age. Chaplin's father died when he was twelve years old, and his mother suffered from mental illness, so Charlie and his brother eventually were placed in a charity home. By age 17, Chaplin had joined a vaudeville troupe and was touring the United States. Mack Sennett, a director for Keystone Pictures, saw him perform and signed him to a movie contract in 1913. His first film, Making a Living, was released in 1914. Chaplin would eventually star in more than eighty films. He was also a director, film writer, and one of the founding members of the United Artists film company. He was married four times. Plagued by questions about his politics and his personal life, Chaplin moved to Switzerland in 1952. He returned to the United States only once, to accept an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1972, five years before he died.
The Little Tramp first appeared in 1915 in the film Kid Auto Races at Venice. The character was born when Chaplin, told to find a funny costume, threw together a few articles of...
(The entire section is 929 words.)
Boy With Baby Carriage
By: Norman Rockwell
Source: Saturday Evening Post
About the Author: Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) was born in Manhattan, New York. His father, a textile company executive, liked to draw for amusement, so young Norman grew up in a home where art was a part of everyday life. Rockwell began art classes at age 14 at the New York School of Art. He left high school to pursue art studies full time, and went on to study at the Art Students League with Thomas Fogarty and George Bridgman. Here he learned the techniques that would make him a success. By sixteen, Rockwell was painting Christmas cards on commission. He worked for Boys' Life as a teenager as well. When he was twenty-one, Rockwell moved from Manhattan to New Rochelle, N.Y. He continued to paint for magazines such as Life, Literary Digest, and Country Gentleman. In 1916, he sold his first cover to Saturday Evening Post, thereby beginning a relationship that would continue for 47 years. His most famous series of paintings may be the Four Freedoms, completed in 1943. In 1977, Rockwell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his "vivid and affectionate portraits of our country." Rockwell was married three times and had three sons with his second wife, Mary....
(The entire section is 1003 words.)
By: Carl Sandburg
Source: Sandburg, Carl. "Chicago." Chicago Poems. New York: Holt, 1916. Reprinted in The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, rev. and exp. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970, 3–4.
About the Author: Carl Sandburg (1878–1967) was a poet, biographer, journalist, novelist, children's author, and folk musician. He was born in Galesburg, Illinois, to Swedish immigrants. Sandburg left school in the eighth grade, worked odd jobs, traveled by rail, and fought in the Spanish-American War (1898). He eventually returned to Galesburg and enrolled in Lombard College. He never graduated, but he did meet Professor Philip Green Wright, who encouraged him to write poetry. Sandburg held a number of jobs after he left college, including working for the Social Democratic Party and as a journalist for the Chicago Daily News and other papers. In addition to poetry, he is remembered for his biographical works on Abraham Lincoln. He was awarded Pulitzer Prizes in both history and literature.
Carl Sandburg was working as a journalist and editor when he wrote the poems that would be published in his first volume of poetry, Chicago Poems. In 1914, he sent some of his work to Harriet...
(The entire section is 1291 words.)
Evening Star, III
By: Georgia O'Keeffe
Source: O'Keeffe, Georgia. Evening Star, III. The Museum of Modern Art. Available online at http://www.moma.org (accessed May 7, 2003).
About the Author: Georgia O'Keeffe (1887–1986) was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. At the age of 12, she decided to
(The entire section is 792 words.)
By: George M. Cohan
Source: Cohan, George M. "Over There." New York: Leo Feist, 1917. Historic American Sheet Music: 1910–1920, music no. 1170. Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University. Available online at http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/cgi-bin/nph-dweb/dynaweb/sh... ; website home page: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu (accessed November 26, 2002).
About the Artist: George Michael Cohan (1878–1942) was born on either the third or fourth of July in Providence, Rhode Island. As a child, he performed with his family in a vaudeville act called "The Four Cohans." He began composing music at age ten and sold his first song at sixteen. His big break came with the 1904 Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones. Cohan was involved in eighty-seven Broadway shows, including twenty-three musicals, and wrote more than five hundred songs.
(The entire section is 977 words.)
By: Irving Berlin
Source: Berlin, Irving. "Mandy: Ziegfeld Follies of 1919." Irving Berlin, Inc. Historic American Sheet Music: 1910–1920. Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.
(The entire section is 1018 words.)
By: Amy Lowell
Source: Lowell, Amy. "September, 1918." In Pictures of the Floating World. New York: Macmillan, 1919. Reprinted in The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955.
About the Author: Amy Lowell (1874–1925) was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, into a wealthy, old New England family. Her predecessors founded two Massachusetts cities, Lowell and Lawrence. Her famous brother, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, was the president of Harvard, and the poet Robert Lowell was a distant cousin. Amy Lowell lived her entire life on a ten-acre estate called Sevenels. She was encouraged to write from a young age and was tutored by governesses and sent to private schools. As an adult, Lowell was known for her outspokeness and her unconventional lifestyle. A leading member of the Imagist school of poetry, she published nine volumes of verse. She was also a noted critic, biographer (of John Keats), reviewer, and spokeswoman for modern poetry. Her volume What O'Clock was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1926, the year after she died.
Often controversial, Amy Lowell considered herself a "self-appointed prophet for American poetry." She felt it was her job to inform the...
(The entire section is 873 words.)
By: Sherwood Anderson
Source: Anderson, Sherwood. "The Philosopher." Little Review, June–July, 1916. Reprinted as "Paper Pills," in Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life. New York: The Modern Library, 1919, 18–23.
About the Author: Sherwood Anderson (1875–1941) was born in Ohio. His family was poor and broke apart after his mother's death in 1895. He fought in Cuba in the Spanish-American War, moved several times, and worked at many jobs before he began his writing career. Among other things he was an advertising copywriter, the president of a manufacturing company, and a newspaper publisher and editor. In 1913 he moved to Chicago, where he began writing fiction. His fourth book, a collection of short stories called Winesburg, Ohio, was published in 1919, and established his literary reputation. A novelist, poet, playwright, and journalist as well as a short-story writer, he eventually produced twenty-seven books, including seven novels. A lifelong traveler, he died in Panama.
The literary atmosphere in Chicago was vibrant and exciting during the 1910s. Sherwood Anderson was acquainted with many of the prominent and up-and-coming writers who collectively...
(The entire section is 2239 words.)
A Poet's Life: Seventy Years in a Changing World
By: Harriet Monroe
Source: Monroe, Harriet. A Poet's Life: Seventy Years in a Changing World. New York: Macmillan, 1938, 251–254.
About the Author: Harriet Monroe (1860–1936) was born in Chicago, the second daughter of Henry Stanton Monroe, a lawyer, and Martha Mitchell Monroe. A poet and an art critic for the Chicago Tribune, she also taught school and helped establish the Chicago Institute of Arts. But she is best known as the editor of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, which she founded in 1912. Monroe died in 1936 while on a trip to Peru. Her autobiography, A Poet's Life: Seventy Years in a Changing World, was published two years later, in 1938.
The beginning of the twentieth century was a transitional time for poetry, and for literature in general. Walt Whitman had forged new ground for poets when he began writing in free verse at the close of the nineteenth century. In the early 1900s, the modernist movement was just emerging, and poets such as T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Amy Lowell were at or near the beginning of their careers. Poetic forms were moving from predictable rhyme schemes to more experimental approaches. Dadaism, surrealism, jazz,...
(The entire section is 2188 words.)