Art Reviewers of the New Age
Huntly Carter — We don't know much about his early life, but he had apparently trained for the medical profession and drifted from that into playwriting and then to criticism of the theatre and visual art. His father may have been an artist. He traveled widely as a young man. For The New Age, he wrote columns on both theatre and art beginning with art in the first issue of Volume 6 in November 1909.
He was not hostile to the Old on principle, quite the contrary, but he felt that often anything Old was accepted as great while everything New was considered trivial by his contemporaries. So he set out to seek the best in New art and praise it, connecting it to the best in the Old art of past centuries. Carter thus set a tone of receptivity to the modern that prevailed in The New Age until Anthony Ludovici replaced him around July of 1912.
After Carter left The New Age, he wrote for other journals and produced books like The New Spirit in Drama and Art, The New Spirit in Russian Theatre, and The New Spirit in Cinema. He was looking for a New Spirit that would answer to the needs of a New Age, and thus embraced every work he took to be a sign of that New Spirit.
Walter Sickert — Born in 1860, he was an accomplished artist himself, who taught art at a number of places, including his own Westminster School of Art. He had been the pupil of Whistler and companion of Degas in his earlier years.
Sickert had championed a new impressionistic realism against the pieties of the Royal Academy and founded the Fitzroy Street Group in 1907 and then the Camden Town Group in 1911 to give like-minded artists an opportunity for mutual support. He was strongly opposed, however, to a modernism that tended toward the Abstract and resisted all attempts to characterize his variant of impressionism as Old. He wrote a lot for The New Age and allowed his own work to appear there as well, and he finally edited a series he called "Modern Drawings," which included the work of his friends and his students.
He has recently been accused by a writer of crime novels of having been Jack the Ripper, but this absurdity should not be taken seriously. He was not hostile to women and included the work of a number of female artists in his series of "Modern Drawings."
T. E. Hulme — Born in 1883, Hulme studied mathematics at Cambridge but was sent down for some breach of discipline. He then studied biology and physics at University College, but abandoned that for travel - first to Canada and than to Europe, where he improved his French and German. There, he began to read philosophy seriously, especially Bergson, and to write poetry.
He wrote on various topics for The New Age over the years, but entered the debates over modern art only in response to an attack by Anthony Ludovici on the work of Jacob Epstein. This response, which appeared in the issue of December 25, 1913 was a kind of battle cry, which Hulme followed with more reasoned defenses of the New - against an Old that he defined as Soft or Romantic, as opposed to a New that was Hard and Classic. He took on both Ludovici and Sickert, then, and edited his own series of images, that he called "Contemporary Drawings," making Sickert's series of "Modern Drawings" seem Old. Like many other talented people, Hulme died in World War I.