[F]rom the early 1920s to the mid-1940s, the headquarters of modernism moved from Paris, London and Berlin to New York and Chicago. American collectors had long been noted from their impassioned greed for European masterpieces and for their open purses. Now, with the political ascendancy of totalitarianism of the right and the left in Europe, artists and intellectuals of all stripes, kept from working or in danger of their lives, sought haven in the United States. Walter Cook, director of the Institute for Fine Arts in New York, used to say, undiplomatically but accurately enough, "Hitler is my best friend. He shakes the tree and I collect the apples."
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Peter Gay, from his book "Modernism: The Lure of Heresy" (2007) at 320: