Francis M. Naumann Fine Art
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The Cubies

The Cubies’ ABC was published in the aftermath of the celebrated Armory Show of 1913, the largest and most sensational exhibition of modern art held in the United States.  Designed to appear as little more than a children’s ABC book—where three pyramidal-shape characters take readers on a tour of the modern works included in the exhibition—the actual purpose of The Cubies’ ABC was to introduce the newest manifestations of contemporary art to the public in a humorous and highly ingeniously fashion.  Thus the letter “A” is for “Art, Archipenko and Anatomics,” “B” is for “Braque and “Beauty as Brancusi views it,” “C” is for “Color Cubistic ad libitum,” and “D” is for “Duchamp, the Deep-Dyed Deceiver,” whose Nude Descending a Staircase is rendered in the illustration as an accordion in need of repair.  The rhyming text in the book was written by Mary Mills Lyall, and the drawings were by her husband, Earl Harvey Lyall (an architect who had studied at Amherst College, Columbia University and, for a brief period, in Paris).  When The Cubies’ ABC appeared in 1913, The Dial declared it “the oddest little color book of the season,” telling readers that “the book must be seen and read to be appreciated.”  It is here reprinted in a near-exact facsimile of the original publication, accompanied by an introduction (inserted hors text) by Francis M. Naumann.

A is for Art in the Cubie's domain. Not the Art of the ancients, brand-new are the Cubies. Archipenko's their guide, Anatomics their bane; they're the joy of the mad, the despair of the sane, with their emerald hair and their eyes red as rubies. A is for art in the cubie's domain
B is for beauty as Brancusi views it. The Cubies all vow he and Braque take the Bun. First you seize all that's plain to the eye, then you lose it; Next you search for the Soul and proceed to abuse it. They tell me it's easy and no end of fun. B is for Beauty as Brancusi views it.
C is for Color cubistic ad libitum. Orange and blue, yellow, purple and green. Throw them all on your boards, Cubies say, then exhibit 'em!" There'll be no colors left, if we don't soon prohibit 'em! Watch them at work and you'll see what I mean. C is for Color Cubistic ad libitum.
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The Cubies
The New Yorker. March 4, 2013. Art's sake. Cubies.
The Cubies. Jennifer Higgie.