Liza Kirwin’s 10 Favorite Lists from the Smithsonian’s Archives


Pablo Picasso, recommendations for the Armory Show for Walt Kuhn, 1912. Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family papers, and Armory Show records, 1859–1978. Archives of American Art. Smithsonian

6. Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
In 1912, American painter Walt Kuhn asked Picasso to recommend European artists for the 1913 Armory Show, the first international exhibition of Modern art in the United States.  Picasso made a list of recommendations, including Marcel Duchamp — name spelled out phonetically — whose Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) caused an uproar at the exhibition, Fernand Léger, and Juan Gris, among others. The Europeans stole the show, overshadowing their American counterparts.