History is seldom as neat as we would like to be, and the history of artistic modernism is no exception. Despite the destruction of the past called for by avant-garde revolutionaries, in France the canonization of modernism met a backlash rarely detailed in art historical literature. With my dissertation, I introduce a group of Parisian art critics and art authorities who mounted fierce resistance to modernism in the interwar period and consider how allegiances with Italian Fascism and the extremist Action Française informed their aesthetic conservatism. Examining the institutional and discursive platforms through which these actors voiced dissent and intervened in the cultural sphere, my dissertation interrogates the relationship between aesthetic judgement and political ideology.
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