Société Anonyme (art)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Société Anonyme, Inc. was an art organization founded in 1920 by Katherine Dreier, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. The society sponsored lectures, concerts, publications, and exhibitions of modern art, including the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926. Between 1920 and 1940 they held 80 exhibitions showing mostly abstract art.

Man Ray picked the name "Société Anonyme", having seen it in French magazines, but knowing little French, assumed it referred to some anonymous society. It actually means "Corporation", but Duchamp thought it a fine name and later while the legal paper work was being written up the "Inc." was added, making its English translation, with its delightful dadaistic redundance, "Corporation, Inc.".

The Société's headquarters in New Jersey closed in 1928, but Dreier continued to organize events, and accumulate artwork to add to the Société Anonyme's collection. Dreier donated the collection to the Yale University Art Gallery in 1941.

On April 30, 1950, the 30th anniversary of the Société Anonyme's first exhibition, Dreier and Duchamp hosted a dinner at the New Haven Lawn Club, where they formally dissolved the organization.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Société Anonyme (art)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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