The Armory South

The 1924 Jacksonville Woman’s Club Exhibition Rediscovered

April 10 - November 23, 2025

Wood Gaylor, The Arts Ball, 1918, 1918, Oil on canvas.

Wood Gaylor, The Arts Ball, 1918, 1918, Oil on canvas, 27 x 45 in., Private Collection. Exhibited at the 1924 Jacksonville Fine Arts Society Exhibition. (Photo: artwork in the public domain).


The Armory South: The 1924 Jacksonville Woman’s Club Exhibition Rediscovered, is an exhibition planned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville for spring 2025 that will reassemble core works from a forgotten but seminal Modernist exhibition mounted in March 1924 by the Woman’s Club of Jacksonville and the newly founded Jacksonville Fine Arts Society (now MOCA). Planned to mark the beginning of the museum’s second century in 2025, The Armory South will tell several related stories of essential importance to the history of women in Modern art, the introduction of Modernism to the American South, and the ideas and relationships shaping American art in the mid-1920s.  

The title of this new exhibition is a nod to the 1913 Armory show that propelled the Modern art movement in America. In the same way, the 1924 Woman’s Club Exhibition in Jacksonville marked the beginning of Modern art in the South. The exhibition was organized by four Jacksonville women led by Merrydelle Hoyt, a largely overlooked but pioneering advocate for Modern art in Florida, and curated by the artist Wood Gaylor. It included nearly 200 works by more than eighty cutting edge Modernist artists, including George Ault, Peggy Bacon, Charles DeMuth, John Dos Passos, Wood Gaylor, Marsden Hartley, Thomas Hart Benton, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Adelaide Lawson, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Katherine Schmidt, Joseph Stella, and Isabel Whitney, among others. Nearly one-third of the exhibiting artists were women. 

Until very recently, this remarkable history had been almost completely forgotten.   

Beyond its contribution to understanding a forgotten regional history of American art, this retrospective exhibition will bring completely new evidence to bear on open questions important to our broader history of American art. The exhibition will be an opportunity to reconsider both the neglected work of influential women artists and some of the now canonical artworks that shaped Modern art in America in the early twentieth century.   

A catalog is being created to accompany this exhibition with support from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. 

Guest curator: Dr. Scott P. Brown, PhD. 



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