Seven Arts, The
The Seven Arts, Dial
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Seven Against Thebes (Hepta epi Thēbas; Septem contra Thebas) to Sir Walter Scott and Scotland
a magazine founded in November 1916 by James Oppenheim, with Waldo Frank and Van Wyck Brooks as associate editors; their enthusiastic commitment to the idea of an American cultural renaissance was shared by Robert Frost, Louis Untermeyer, Robert Edmond Jones, and others who lent their support to the venture from the outset. Oppenheim's first editorial made clear his sense of national purpose and announced that ‘The Seven Arts is not a magazine for artists, but an expression of artists for the community’. As the chosen title suggests, music and the graphic and plastic arts, as well as dance and architecture, were all within the journal's compass, although its central concern was with literary criticism, prose fiction, and poetry. Frank, Oppenheim, and Brooks were the most regular contributors of criticism, whose number also included H. L. Mencken and Willard Huntington Wright. Sherwood Anderson, John Dos Passos, S. N. Behrman, and Eugene O'Neill were among the comparatively unknown writers whose short stories were featured, and Frost, Amy Lowell, Carl Sandburg, and Stephen Vincent Benét supplied poetry. With a circulation in the region of 5,000, the magazine was the foremost journal of its kind until its opposition to America's involvement in the First World War led to the withdrawal of financial support by its sponsors. Although it ran for only a year, The Seven Arts proved a powerful stimulant to American culture and established the standards subsequently maintained by the Dial, to which a number of its leading contributors transferred their loyalties.