1920s
The Salons of America and
the Society of Independent Artists Exhibition hello

Fig. 6. Eitaro Ishigaki in his studio “Young Japanese Artists Finds Strange Contrasts in American Men and Women”(Evening Telegram, Nov.4, 1922

In the 1920s, the United States enjoyed a post-first World War economic boom. The streets were filled with flappers, women with short skirts and bobbed hair, and popular culture, such as radio, movies, and dance halls, was in full swing. The art world was seeking a uniquely American art style, influenced by modernism rather than the European realistic techniques of the Academy School.

The exhibition of “The Eight” was held at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908. The works of John Sloan and Robert Henry, known as the “Ashcan School” for their depictions of the back alleys and social mores of the city, were exhibited there and became the talk of the town. And the Armory Show was held in 1913. it was featured approximately 1,600 works of painting, sculpture, and graphic art, ranging from Impressionism to Modernism, and had a significant impact on the American art world.

After that The Society of Independent Artists was established in 1917 and the Salons of America was established in 1922. These organizations held an annual exhibition by no-jury, non-prize. These exhibitions were open to anyone, regardless of nationality or technique, and many Japanese exhibited their works.

Fig. 6. Eitaro Ishigaki in his studio “Young Japanese Artists Finds Strange Contrasts in American Men and Women”(Evening Telegram, Nov.4, 1922

The Red Bath”by Shinyo Hagida, exhibited at the 2nd Exhibition of the Japan Association of Independent Artists in 1918, depicts a Japanese public bath with curves as the basic tone. The title of the work surprised people in the region who were unfamiliar with public baths.

Torajiro Watanabe wrote in the Japanese magazine titled Nihon-jin, “He displayed a great work of “Blood Bath”, a title that could have come from Dante’s Hell Purgatory.in the exhibition of the Society of Independent  Artists a few years ago. His painting astonished American people by a title. The exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists.”

(Torajiro Watanabe, “Gacho-kai members’ observations,” Nihonjin, No. 99, February 25, 1923)

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