The Old Guard

  • Despite its importance as a place of change, New York was also a city where tradition cast a long shadow. In the fields of art and literature especially, New York boasted age-old institutions and legendary figures who dominated the cultural landscape. Some in this “Old Guard” – uncomfortable about the implications of modernism’s rise – saw it as their responsibility to uphold time-honored conventions and to safeguard against what they perceived as declining standards. Yet the individuals in this section were also the group against which many of a new generation rebelled. While they continued to be
  • regarded as key figures – and their portraits continued to be in demand – these writers and artists represented a tradition that was gradually losing ground. Much younger than any of these men, Ben-Yusuf was nonetheless successful in creating contemporary portraits that revealed their distinct character.
    next section
    Young Moderns