February 4, 2017 - May 14, 2017
Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. By joining the SIA and paying a nominal fee, thousands of American artists–from famous painters to Sunday painters–were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows in New York City. The brainchild of a diverse group of idealistic modern artists, including William Glackens, Walter Pach, and Marcel Duchamp, the SIA was one of many attempts to revolutionize how art was exhibited in the United States in the 20th century. The SIA shows were proudly open exhibitions, with no jury and no prizes, and the works were hung alphabetically to further democratize the experience. With works of art ranging from traditional portraits to cubist compositions, this exhibition gives a taste of the eclectic energy of the SIA.
No Jury, No Prizes: The Society of Independent Illustrators was organized by the Delaware Art Museum. Support was provided by the Sansom Foundation and the Hallie Tybout Exhibition Fund. Additional support was provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
Image: Poster for the Fifth Annual Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists (detail), 1921. Fred Biesel (1893-1954). Linoleum block print, sheet: 22 x 13 7/8 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of Helen Farr Sloan, 1988.