New York, London, Ireland: Collector John Quinn's Transatlantic Network, c. 1900–1917

Ysanne Holt

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In the early 1900s John Quinn (1879–1924), Ohio-born son of Irish Catholic immigrants, was establishing a successful financial law career in Manhattan and had begun what became an all-consuming passion, collecting. At first he collected literature, especially Walter Pater, Thomas Hardy, William Morris and George Meredith, autograph manuscripts where possible, and then fine art, initially prints and drawings. Quinn himself was to be a key driver behind the 1913 Armory Show in New York and, in the years around the First World War, an increasingly prodigious collector of French modernism in particular, a process made all the easier by his own success that year in driving through anti-tariff legislation on the import to America of original works of art. The later development of Quinn's art collecting has been widely discussed, most notably in 1978 by the art historian and museum curator Judith Zilczer, and his life as a whole very closely detailed a decade earlier in Benjamin L. Reid's 1968 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Man from New York. My focus in this article is on the shifts and transformations of Quinn's earlier patterns of collecting from the turn of the century up to and including his interests in Vorticism, on his Irish collection in particular and on exploring Quinn's practices in relation to some recent studies of transnationalism, transculturation and the nature and operation of transatlantic networks in the market for art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
JournalVisual Culture in Britain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


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