Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism

Free as Gods:
How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism


When: Wednesday, September 13, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Where:  972 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10075


About the Event:

The Jazz Age continues to weave its fascinating spell, stories of the wild times and masterpieces of a tightly connected group of geniuses and artists (Picasso, Leger, Le Corbusier, Chanel, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Gershwin, and Porter to name a few).

Join ADSNY for this special evening in the extraordinary space at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, where we will explore how France’s expatriate community during the Jazz Age represented an extraordinary convergence of creative genius—one of the most glorious in history.

In this illustrated lecture, Charles A. Riley II,  will show images of masterworks as well as rarely-seen and even unknown photographs from various archives to illuminate the artistic collaborations of a lucky rather than lost generation.

Riley will explore how many of these famous individuals were audaciously trying media with which they had little experience. Writers and composers painted up a storm, artists turned into poets, and the theater and ballet, especially the Ballets Russes, gathered dream teams of talent. Hemingway was a connoisseur of contemporary art, Gershwin and E.E. Cummings exhibited their own paintings, Leger made films, Le Corbusier painted and photographed, Pound wrote an opera, and Picasso was spending more time backstage at the Ballets Russes than in his studio.

The story of the birth of Art Deco is framed by the conjunction of freedom and order in the accelerated aesthetic changes of the Twenties.

Charles A. Riley II, PhD is the author of two books on the Jazz Age, Free as Gods (University Press of New England) and The Jazz Age in France (Abrams). He is the director of the Nassau County Museum of Art, an art critic, and a professor at Clarkson University.



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Members: $35.00
Jazz Age Order Members: $25.00
Non-Members/Guests: $50.00
Jazz Age Order Guests: $40.00

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