Before Now

Before Now | Historical Artists | Visual Arts

Incompetent or Deranged, Hucksters and Commies: Reactions to Modern Art at Mid-Century

In Utah, modernism was welcomed with open arms by only a belated minority. Three decades after New York’s Armory Show — when the various isms of modern art developed in Europe were revealed to the American public — artists in the state of Utah were still struggling with skeptical peers and a bewildered if not belligerent public — a public that often chose not simply to ignore the new isms, as they might with artistic trends today; they attacked, or at the very least, mocked them. Modern artists, to much of the Utah public, were considered incompetent or deranged, seen as hucksters and commies.