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Forbes Watson

Independent Revolutionary

Lenore S. Clark

280 pages
The Kent State University Press

Forbes Watson, art commentator for the New York Evening Post and New York World, was probably best known as the editor of The Arts, the liveliest and most influential art magazine of the 1920s. He quickly gained a reputation as an outspoken ally of progressive American artists and a caustic annihilator of those who got in their way. This charming, confrontational connoisseur, with a knack for offending officialdom, captivated readers and attracted loyal adherents. This same anti-authority streak cost him position after position, however, and ultimately blurred his historical legacy. But Watson's ideas were important and his life was interesting, making him a fascinating subject for this interpretive biography.