Hmm. Well, I’ve arrived at what I think is a close-to-a-final answer, yet I’m not satisfied. While I see that Michelle, Rhett and I had a similar end result, I may have had a rather different beginning. My work was somewhat cut out for me, thanks to an expert librarian.
Having read “The Craft of Research,” I concluded that this exercise was a test about attention to details. Page 70 and 71 mention, “planning your search” and I immediately honed the advice of the authors (two of whom are deceased, yet were obviously highly touted). Take note of the page prior to the Contents page. Research with a research book! Anyway, Page 71 states, “If you’re too shy or proud to ask questions in person, email them (the librarian).” I wasn’t too shy, nor proud, yet more concerned about my use of time. Why waste time going to the library or randomly searching online? I have an expert within reach of a single email response – whom would likely love to help out. So I emailed.
After emailing a librarian, I received a response just shy of fours hours from this morning. I was provided a PDF attachment article about a Matisse exhibition, as well as the following reply:
Interesting topic. It could be a little challenging finding print works locally because of the date range you are looking at. Our library has very few monographs from that era, yet we do have several periodical titles from the time. A surprisingly quick search through Reader’s Guide only offered a single article on Matisse from “The Nation”, and it was actually published in 1910, prior to your desired date range.
As an alternative, I’d suggest looking at the New York Times archives. The Times covered art and culture fairly extensively in that time period, and there appear to be quite a few articles on Matisse (see attached file for an example). The archives are available online for that era, viewable in pdf format. To see the search results I worked with use the following url: http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?frow=0&n=10&srcht=s&daterange=period&query=matisse&srchst=p&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&hdlquery=&bylquery=&mon1=01&day1=18&year1=1911&mon2=12&day2=31&year2=1913
Hopefully this might find you the type of information you seek. If you need more, could you tell me a little more about the exhibition, the building where it took place, sponsoring organization, other artists involved, etc? Additional information may assist me in finding more for you.”
I then took action by searching the NY Times Archive, 1851-1980. My first search was a combination of keywords: “Henri Matisse” and “gallery” and “Modernism” and “Modernist,” set to search from January 1, 1911 to December 31, 1911. I then started to download each PDF that was somewhat in the ballpark of my keywords. All in all, I had about six articles. I then proceeded to add PDF notes everytime I scanned and saw the word “Matisse,” to serve as a visual indicator. I also discovered that not all PDFs would convert to OCR, hence the reason that I used notes.
After examining a few articles, I refined my keyword list and did a re-search (ahhh, that’s where the term derives from, duh). I realized that if Matisse had a showing in 1911, that during this era, it could have been advertised in late 1910 just before January, 1911. I tweaked the date range to January, 1910 and instead, added “291″ and “Fifth Street Avenue” to the set of keywords. I had a hunch that these keywords could help, since I came across a hint from another source. Within another article there is mention of “291 and the 1913 Armory Show.”
However, another article by Gelett Burgress, lists the address “291 Fifth Street Avenue” which was the location for the Photo Impression Gallery, known for holding painting exhibits. I knew that Stieglitz had photographed some of Matisse’s earlier works before 1911, so I tried yet another search and instead expanded the timeline, to search from 1900 to 1911.
Right now, I have a 1908 and a 1912 article that profile a Matisse exhibit. However, the 1908 article exhibit took place in Paris at the Salon d’Automne, while the 1912 article refers to an exhibit in New York City. Therefore, I’m not quite content with my findings… but I think that I’m getting very close.