PRINT October 1978

John Quinn: The New York ‘Stein’

I do not think that the Change is so much in the Pictures as in the Opinions of the Public.

—William Blake1

NOW THAT THE TERM “avant-garde” in relation to current art has almost as much impact as the word “natural” on a box of corn flakes, one must look with a certain knowing nostalgia to the period from 1900 to the Depression, when in regard to art it still had something of its original military and political connotations. At that time a very small group of American collectors, through a combination of taste, foresight and buying power, gave their patronage to a small group of artists working in Europe. In a very practical way, they helped these artists continue with work that would later define, for the majority of knowledgeable persons, the fundamental objectives of artistic expression for the first half of this century. One such collector was John Quinn, a New York lawyer of Irish

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