Katherine S. Dreier


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(b New York, 10 Sept. 1877; d Milford, Conn., 29 Mar. 1952).

American painter, patron, and collector, a wealthy heiress remembered mainly for her missionary zeal in promoting modern art in the USA. She became an ardent supporter of avant-garde art as a result of the Armory Show, where she met Marcel Duchamp, and in 1920 together with him and Man Ray she founded the Société Anonyme. ‘A domineering woman of tireless energy and Wagnerian proportions, she was the antithesis of Duchamp in every possible way, and they got along famously’ (Calvin Tomkins, The World of Marcel Duchamp, 1966). In addition to organizing exhibitions (the main business of the Société Anonyme), she did a good deal of lecturing, and she also promoted avant-garde music and dance. Her best-known painting is Abstract Portrait of Duchamp (1918, MoMA, New York).

Subjects: Art.

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