January 1928

by Paul Durica

As the fine art critic for the Chicago Tribune, Harriet Monroe had this to say about the International Exposition of Modern Art, the famous “Armory Show,” when it opened at the Art Institute of Chicago on March 24, 1913: “Their art, if it is art, would seem to be in an experimental stage, and time alone can determine whether it will lead to anything.” Chicago lawyer Arthur Jerome Eddy took a chance and purchased several of the show’s pieces. Not long after, he took another chance, becoming one of the benefactors of an upstart literary magazine, Poetry, which also enjoyed the support of fellow Art Institute donors Charles Hutchinson, Martin Ryerson, and Frederic Clay and Helen Birch Bartlett.

The above subscription pitch invited less affluent people to become “spectators” of Poetry, and a printed handbill that contained additional text reveals its pragmatic purpose: a subscription “does not equal the actual cost of producing any single monthly show which the poetry spectator views; but whatever small amounts we take in at the door help to determine how long we shall keep the magazine-gallery going.” With the support of donors and subscribers, the “magazine-gallery” has been “going” for a hundred years.—Paul Durica

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“Back Page” is a monthly feature of artifacts from the last one hundred years of Poetry.


Originally Published: January 3, 2012

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This prose originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2012

Biography

Paul Durica is a graduate student at the University of Chicago and the founder of Pocket Guide to Hell Tours and Reenactments.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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