blackbirdonline journalFall 2013 Vol. 12 No. 2
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JULIAN STREET | Why I Became a Cubist

Straight Talk With Everybody’s Publishers: Now Everything is Clear
Everybody’s Magazine 28 (August 1913)

Straight Talk With Everybody’s Publishers

In the June Everybody's appeared an article by Julian Street entitled “Why I Became A Cubist.” On page 819 was shown a reproduction of a photograph of a painting by Picabia, entitled “The Dance at the Spring.” Many of our readers have written in since the June number of Everybody's Magazine appeared, calling our attention to the fact that in their opinion the plate on page 819 is upside down. Our correspondents don’t seem to care very much whether the picture is upside down or not. Their only concern seems to be that the truth should be known.

The following letter is a fair sample of the correspondence received:

May 23 1913


In the June number of Everybody's, page 819, the plate for the “Dance at the Spring” is upside down. Of course, you will get numerous letters on the same subject, and while the picture is just as plain upside down as right side up, those who haven’t seen the Cubist exhibition ought to have the proper presentation given them so they may feel that what they have missed isn’t going to worry them.


The plate in question seems to represent a collection of a child’s building-blocks, some of which have the corners chipped off. We can only say in extenuation that it was a situation where we felt that we had to take a chance. There were only four sides to the picture from which to choose. If we have unfortunately chosen the wrong side and the other three should go up, it is, of course, regrettable.

When we consulted Mr Julian Street in our dilemma, he seemed to share with us the feeling that the “spring” showed plainer this way, and, if we recall his conversation correctly, he even advanced the idea that he thought the spring showed more elasticity.

A number of authorities consulted concurred in the opinion that the dance seemed gayer and more sprightly as viewed from this side of the picture than from any of the other three sides.

We must confess that we hardly anticipated any criticism in regard to this plate. What we were dreading was that some one would call our attention to the fact that the plate on the page opposite was printed wrong side out.  end

   Why I Became a Cubist
   Straight Talk With Everybody’s Publishers
   Painstaking Writer
   from Julian Street’s 1947 New York Times Obituary
   1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art Catalogue (pdf)

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