(b Flint, MI, Nov 5, 1859; d Chicago, IL, July 21, 1920).
American critic, collector and lawyer. He wrote books on legal and economic issues in the 1900s. He first became interested in art, notably that of James Abbott McNeil Whistler and François-Auguste-René Rodin through the World’s Fair of Chicago in 1893. He began to lecture on art and aesthetics and published his first art book Delight, the Soul of Art (Philadelphia, 1904). In 1912 he became interested in 20th-century art. It was, however, the Armory Show (1913) that inspired him to become a serious collector of avant-garde art; he acquired 25 works from the exhibition. Subsequently he travelled to London and Germany, where he met Vasily Kandinsky and other artists and added c. 100 works to his collection.
In 1914 Eddy published Cubists and Post-Impressionism (Chicago). Based on information elicited from the artists themselves, this book is significant as one of the first attempts to explain modern art in the USA, but in its emphasis upon such painters as Kandinsky (it included the first discussion in English of this painter’s ideas) it betrays Eddy’s enthusiasm for colouristic abstraction. Eddy continued to collect, although the emphasis lay upon American modernism. On his death the collection was dispersed and 23 works went to the ...