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Following is a description of the event made by S. Fosdick who was present at the opening of the exhibition: "The paintings came as a revelation for the Americans and amazed them exceedingly. It was the first exhibition of Russian art, which was new for them, and in media Roerich's art became "the topic of the day". The American public willingly visited the exhibition, studied the pictures and showed interest in the artist himself. The success was exceptional!"
The introduction to the catalogue of the exhibition was written by Dr. Christian Brinton, a famous art critic. The committee of the exhibition consisted of the eminent citizens of New York City.
"The paintings themselves, their subjects, their Russianness, absolutely unknown to the Americans, thrilled the audience. The message of the paintings "Idols", "Treasures of the Angels", "Building the Ships" and others astonished the public who had gotten used to an agreeable daily routine. Ancient Rus, growing in pains, toils and aspirations for the future, arose before their eyes. Bright colours, saturation and boldness of lines and drawing – all this affected the visitors. They would stand in front of the paintings for a long time, taking a good look at this strange, totally unknown life of the Slavs, quests and aspirations of the heroic people. This exhibition became the first Roerich's contribution to America's art and culture. (my italics O.Ch.)"
N.K. Roerich. «The Last Angel». 1912.
All these works were on the one hand unusual for the Americans in their subject area, but on the other hand they were very convincing in their universal ideals and mastery.
The first exhibition enjoyed a huge success. Here are some of the reviews.